Odell Beckham Jr. spent the first 20 minutes or so of Monday’s OTA workout going through drills with his teammates. He chopped his feet through a ladder on the ground, zig-zagged between some cones, and caught passes thrown at him by coaches.
It turned out to be the extent of Beckham’s participation in the practice. By the time quarterbacks made it over to the wide receiver to begin throwing passes at actual routes, Beckham had trotted over to the side to continue his rehab from the ankle injury that sidelined him for most of last season. But Beckham’s presence at the voluntary event — piggy-backed on top of other appearances on other voluntary days during this offseason program — was less about being on the field than being in the building.
It’s another indicator of what could be a maturing Beckham, re-committed to the team and the organization as he heads into what could be the final year of his rookie contract with what is almost certain to be a monstrous extension on the horizon. Beckham spent most of last year’s offseason program training elsewhere.
It’s also a chance for Beckham to keep up to date on the new offense and forge some bonds with his new teammates and new coaching staff.
“He can’t fully compete or whatever, but it’s a chance to see it,” head coach Pat Shurmur said on Monday, echoing sentiments he shared on Sunday when he threw out the first pitch at a Mets game at CitiField. “There’s a lot to be learned by watching and it’s good to have him.”
Beckham certainly looked like he could have kept going after his brief participation in individual drills. It seemed as if he was lobbying a member of the staff to do just that and he shared a short conversation with rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta before retiring to the area for injured players. He was back with the team standing and watching the reps later in the practice.
“He looks good,” Shurmur said of Beckham’s physical status. “He’s out here moving around and chomping at the bit waiting to get out and do more than we’re allowing him to at this point. We just want to make sure that he’s healed to the fullest.”