Medical staff tend to New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.'s leg during practice at the team's NFL football camp, Sunday, July 31, 2016 in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
Rich Schultz
July 31, 2016

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) For a couple of minutes, it seemed the injury bug had gotten the New York Giants again.

Three days into training camp, leading receiver and offensive catalyst Odell Beckham Jr. sat in the end zone surrounded by team doctors and trainers.

All eyes and hands were focused on his left ankle and foot that had been stepped on by cornerback Janoris Jenkins on a pass play.

The only real noise seemed to be the photographers clicking one picture after another, and reporters tapping on their cell phones sending out tweets, wondering the severity of the injury.

Beckham would eventually limp to the sideline and then leave the indoor practice field a couple of minutes later on a cart to have the foot examined.

It was hold your breath time for Giants' fans, who have seen their team miss the playoffs the past four seasons. It was also hold your breath time for Beckham.

''I don't think in the moment, at that exact time, I can understand what is going on all around me,'' Beckham said. ''You are checking internally. `Am I OK? OK. Is it that hurt? All right.' I'm making sure everything is good. It's not so much I can hear or feel the silence, but I know I would never want to worry my teammates if I don't have to.''

The worries ended about half an hour later when new coach Ben McAdoo said Beckham was cleated as he and Jenkins landed after jumping to catch a long pass downfield.

Beckham had a couple of cuts on his foot, but seemingly nothing more. His injury did not require stitches. His foot was taped before he left the locker room to talk to reporters.

The Giants have off Monday. It is uncertain whether Beckham will practice Tuesday, the first day they wear pads.

Beckham, who was limping when he arrived to talk to reporters, downplayed all the attention. He seemed more concerned there was blood on his custom-made cleats.

''It's football, we go down,'' he said. ''I've been worse.''

Injuries, both on and off the field, have hurt the Giants in recent years, leading to consecutive 6-10 records.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul missed the first half of last season after a fireworks accident. Receiver Victor Cruz, offensive linemen Will Beatty and Geoff Schwartz, cornerback Prince Amukamara, middle linebacker Jon Beason and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins were all hurt in recent seasons.

With the roster changes the Giants made in the offseason, Beckham feels the Giants can compete for a playoff spot.

''I care about winning, period,'' said Beckham, who had caught a long pass early in the practice. ''I hate losing. It doesn't matter what we are playing: marbles, spades, video games. I don't like losing.''

Beckham said he senses that Eli Manning wants another Super Bowl title, just to go one up on his brother. The third-year receiver, who has caught 187 passes for 2,755 yards and 25 touchdowns in his first two seasons, also got a little motivation working out last week with one of his idols - LeBron James. Beckham said it was great to see how hard he works, even after winning NBA titles.

''I have never been able to call myself a champion,'' Beckham said. ''There has got to be no better feeling than seeing the confetti fall after all the hard work since July 28th, that you put in and before that leading up to it.''

General manager Jerry Reese, who re-signed Pierre-Paul and got defensive end Olivier Vernon, defensive tackle Damon Harrison, Jenkins and linebacker Keenan Robinson to sign with the Giants as free agents, says he is optimistic about this season.''

''The atmosphere is great here, we have a lot of positive energy,'' Reese said. ''We have a lot of competition at different position, and I feel that makes your football better.''

NOTES: McAdoo said he cut down on Cruz's workload, but that was planned since he has only played in six games over the past two seasons. ... Two of the team's practices have been held indoors because of rain.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

You May Like