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Odell Beckham Jr. out third straight game, but Cody Latimer heals in time to help

Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. speaks to

Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. speaks to reporters in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Dec. 20. Credit: AP/Tom Canavan

Odell Beckham Jr. is running out of time to catch on again with the Giants’ offense. Cody Latimer, however, has recovered in time to potentially play a role again in the receiving cast.

Beckham, the Giants’ top wide receiver, will not play against the Colts on Sunday in Indianapolis, the team said Friday. It will be the third straight game in which he is sidelined because of a hematoma in his left quadriceps. The season finale follows against Dallas on Dec. 30.

“He’s closer,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “He did more this week.”

Beckham, who has 77 receptions, originally injured the quadriceps late in the Giants’ loss in Philadelphia on Nov. 25 but played the following week against Chicago before aggravating the injury in practice. He was listed under “did not participate in practice” with the team the last three days.

Still, Shurmur said, “He’s able to do more field work. So we’ll just have to see what the next couple of days bring.”

Reserve receiver Russell Shepard suffered a sprained ankle in last Sunday’s loss to Tennessee and also was declared out. So there was a need at the position beyond Sterling Shepard, Bennie Fowler, Corey Coleman and Jawill Davis, who was limited Friday by a hamstring injury.

Enter Latimer.

The fifth-year pro and first-year Giant was on punt coverage as a gunner against Philadelphia on Oct. 11 when he tore a hamstring. He went on injured reserve five days later.  “When it first happened, I’m like, ‘I’m done for the year,’ ” Latimer said.

But he said the training staff and his teammates “pushed me.” Latimer rehabbed hard and beat his expectations. On Nov. 28, the Giants designated him as eligible to return from injured reserve, opening a window for him to practice. They activated him Wednesday when cornerback /special-teamer Antonio Hamilton went on IR.

“Cody is ready to go,” Shurmur said. “That was a great example of that rule where you can practice a guy for three weeks and if you need him, you can bring him back. Since we are nicked up a little bit at receiver with [Shepard] and Odell, it sort of made sense . . . He’ll also be able to do some special-teams things that Hamilton did.”

Latimer has averaged 18 yards on six catches across four games. “Me and the family love it here,” said Latimer, who can become a free agent after the season. “Hopefully I’ll be back.”

Notes & quotes: Linebacker Alec Ogletree (concussion) and center Spencer Pulley (calf) are out. Defensive lineman Kerry Wynn (thumb) is questionable . . . Quarterback Kyle Lauletta was inactive last Sunday after being active for two games. That included his debut against Washington, an 0-for-5 passing effort with one interception. Asked if he expects to have Lauletta active and to get him in again with the Giants eliminated from the playoff race, Shurmur said, “We’ll have to see. We’re going to try to do everything we can to win the game. I’ve said all along, he’s got a bright future.”

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