Odell Beckham Jr. returned to practice in a limited capacity Thursday, revealing that he’s dealing with a six- to eight-week injury timeline for his ankle that has already cost him the New York Giants’ season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
It has been 24 days since Beckham went down following an ugly preseason hit that bent his left leg inward on a Monday night against the Cleveland Browns. The Giants play the Detroit Lions this Monday night, exactly four weeks since the injury.
Beckham, despite testing the ankle before the Giants’ 19-3 loss to the Cowboys, wasn’t really close to playing Sunday because he hadn’t practiced all week.
“I don’t really know how realistic it was,” Beckham said. “As bad as I wanted to play, it just wasn’t there. It had been three weeks after the injury. It hasn’t even been a month since it happened. This is a six- to eight-week thing. Unfortunately, as much as I was trying my hardest to get there, it just wasn’t enough time.”
The Giants’ top playmaker is making progress as he practiced Thursday for the first time since the injury.
“It felt good. It felt good just to be back out there,” Beckham said. “Something about — it’s just when you put that helmet on, it’s a different mode. When you put the helmet on and go out there and warm up and when we got to individuals, I was running routes. I was feeling pretty good.
“So, like I said, we’re definitely taking major strides in the right direction. It’s a matter of time.”
Beckham was running, jumping and cutting better and more freely during practice Thursday.
It will be important to see how he bounces back for the Giants’ longest and most physical practice of the week on Friday, but there seemed to be optimism that he will play against the Lions.
“More than last week,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “We got him out there [to practice].”
It helps the Giants have the extra day since they’re playing Monday night. While his teammates had Monday and Tuesday off, Beckham concentrated on treatment those days.
Beckham again wouldn’t say whether he was dealing with a high ankle sprain. The Giants have simply called it an ankle injury and never detailed a timeframe for his return.
“I’m not a doctor, really,” Beckham said. “I don’t know how long it is. I’m just — there’s guidelines. It could be four to 12 weeks. You never know. Everybody heals differently.”
The rehab process for Beckham has been extensive. That doesn’t mean it has been enjoyable. He watched his teammates flop in the season opener against the Cowboys. The Giants had two first downs in the first half and finished with three points.
Beckham wanted to play Sunday. He wants to play Monday against the Lions, and said he’s doing everything possible to make it happen.
“I personally don’t want to get up at 6:30 every morning, get here for 7 o’clock treatment. The days we have off, I’m here at 10 o’clock for treatment. I go home, I do 5-6 hours of treatment,” Beckham said. “It’s boring. It’s not fun. Nobody wants to do that and definitely work all offseason and everything to get to Dallas and have to sit there. So I’m itching to get back on the field.”
He also warned he didn’t want this to be like his rookie season, when he returned early from a hamstring injury and suffered a setback.
“It’s like when I had the hamstring injury and you come back. You don’t know if it’s too early or not, and it gets reinjured and you set yourself back for another 5-6 weeks. I don’t have that luxury right now,” Beckham said. “So it’s a matter of getting to a point where you know you’re confident in it, it’s confident in itself and you can go. And you don’t have to worry about it.”