Pat Shurmur said Odell Beckham Jr. is “ready to go” when the Giants take the field for their first practice of training camp on Thursday and added he has “no reservation” about putting the star wide receiver in the middle of live drills in the coming days and weeks. Whether or not that means he’ll be a participant in every aspect of workouts remains to be seen.
Shurmur quickly couched his green light for Beckham to a yellow by saying that since Beckham is still coming back from injury, “we’re going to continue to be smart about how much we give him starting out.”
No doubt Beckham will want to be smart about how much he agrees to do as well. Despite entering the final year of his rookie deal and being due to earn well below his market value on the current contract, Beckham did show up and report to camp on Wednesday. That’s more than others around the league trying to wrangle similar financial footing did, including Julio Jones in Atlanta and Aaron Donald in Los Angeles. But Beckham’s presence may be just that. In the spring he was medically cleared to participate in practices but took part only in individual drills without any defenders. He could conceivably continue that policy until the Giants agree to a long-term extension.
Technically it would not be a holdout. More like a standout.
Shurmur said he thinks Beckham’s recovery from the ankle surgery he had last October has gone well.
"We feel like he’s on track,” Shurmur said. “Again, with all players coming back from injury, we just have to be smart with how much we give him going forward. It’s all about football and it’s all about our guys being ready to play Jacksonville and beyond. As we go through this process here, we’ll give him what he needs.”
More importantly in the big picture, Beckham should be able to give the Giants what they need at some point.
"He’s unbelievably talented,” Eli Manning said of Beckham. “He’s great at practice and in games so just having him back he brings an energy and excitement to the offense. You never know when he can make a big play and turn a short pass into a big gain or a touchdown. It’ll be great getting him back and running all the new plays and new routes and get him up to speed. To throw him into the mix of the other playmakers we have, it’s exciting.”
Just when he’ll be thrown in fully – based on his health and his contact status – is the only question that remains.