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Odell Beckham Jr.’s ankle injury upsets Brad Wing, his best friend

Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. talks on

Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. talks on the sideline with punter Brad Wing against the Chargers at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 8, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Odell Beckham Jr.’s fourth-quarter ankle injury was a huge blow to anyone associated with the Giants. For Brad Wing, it was personal.

Beckham and the Giants’ punter are best friends, and Wing was visibly shaken when the receiver suffered a fractured ankle that could require surgery. “I said I loved him,” Wing said he told his former LSU teammate as he was being taken off the field on a cart.

“It’s tough, man,” Wing said. “He’s more than a teammate to me. Teammate is probably the last thing he is to me. I consider him very, very close to me, and I know how much he loves playing football, and how much he wants to do well. For him not to be out there, no matter how serious or unserious an injury is, I know how much it upsets him. It’s upsetting to see our best player leave the field like that.

“As professionals, we’re obviously trained to take whatever is thrown at you,” he said. “I think we do a good job with that. But having 13 [Beckham’s jersey number] be the player he is, and how these last few weeks have been, battling injuries here and there, to see him leave the game like that, I wouldn’t say it takes the life out of us, but it’s something that everybody on the sidelines is aware of, I can promise you that.”

Earlier in the game, Beckham was seen on the sideline being consoled by Wing. With a towel draped over his head, Beckham appeared to be in tears.

“We were just having a personal conversation to motivate one another,” Wing said after the game. “I was just telling him how great he was, and how important he was to this team and how, if we’re gonna win, we need him, and that I need him. I keep telling him to go out there and show the world what he can do.

“We made a promise to each other that we’re going to keep each other positive on the sidelines, regardless of what happens in the game,” he said. “It’s a promise I’m taking very seriously, and I’ll be there to help him.”

Wing said he wasn’t sure exactly what Beckham’s injury was. The team later announced that Beckham had suffered a fracture to the ankle he initially injured in a Week 2 preseason game in Cleveland.

“Once I know what the injury is, I guess I’ll have a more determined emotion,” Wing said. “But it’s sad seeing him taken out of the game.”

Beckham came into the game dealing with the effects of a dislocated finger on his right hand, an injury suffered in last week’s loss to the Buccaneers. A picture that made its way around social media showed Beckham’s finger bent back.

“I know his finger’s been bothering him,” Wing said. “You saw the picture of it. That would be bothering me.”

As it turned out, the finger was the least of Beckham’s worries.

With Tom Rock

New York Sports