Giants Odell Beckham has been playing with injured thumb
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Heading into this weekend's game against the Giants, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford isn't the only one dealing with an injury.
Put New York playmaker Odell Beckham Jr. in the club, even if he is not listed on the injury report like Stafford, who has a damaged middle finger on this throwing hand.
The Giants' big-play receiver had been bothered by a sore thumb for weeks. It hurts when he catches the ball the wrong way, and he admits he has altered how he catches passes.
''You look at it differently,'' Beckham said Wednesday when asked about the adjustments. ''You try and find the spiral and just place your hands around it the best way you can without having to go through that contact. It's something that crosses your mind, but certain times it crosses your mind more than others when you're going to make a catch.''
Beckham's statistics say the thumb isn't a big problem. He is tied for fourth in the NFL with 79 catches for 1,109 yards and nine touchdowns, including a game-winning 61-yard catch and run in the Giants' 10-7 win over Dallas on Sunday night.
Still, Beckham had two drops in the game, and that didn't sit well with him. He dropped a deep pass early and let a wet ball slip through his hands when he seemingly tried to make a play before having the rock.
''I have trouble just moving on,'' Beckham said. ''I'm pretty obsessive over, at least, that area of the game. It definitely bothers me, whenever I drop a pass. It sure won't be the first and it sure won't be the last.''
After the game, Beckham said he would catch balls from a JUGS machine, and he had done that, to a point.
''It's just tough,'' the third-year receiver said. ''It's a line between wanting to get better and also trying to protect that thumb for right now because you can't keep taking too much contact to it for right now until it's game time. Just trying to find a way.''
Beckham said the thumb bothers him most when there is contact or he tries to grab someone.
''It's not like it's a regular finger, it's your thumb,'' he said. ''It's the most important one you have. It's definitely difficult but I've dealt with it before and I'm sure it will happen again. You just have to play through it and rub some dirt on it.''
The attitude is something Eli Manning likes.
''Odell, he's a tremendous athlete and does a great job just making big plays,'' Manning said in a telephone interview with Detroit writers. ''You never know when it's going to come up, just hey, throw a slant, throw something short and he can break the big ones. So you know, he's done a great job just in his route-running, his technique, and he does a great job getting open. And then once he gets the ball in his hands, that's when things can happen.''
NOTES: LB Keenan Robinson missed practice with a chronic shoulder injury. LB Mark Herzlich, S Nat Berhe and RB Shane Vereen were no-contact in practice because of concussions. LS Zak DeOssie (hamstring), DT Johnathan Hankins (shoulder), DE Owa Odighizuwa (knee) and G Justin Pugh (knee) were limited. ... P Brad Wing was the NFC special teams player of the week. He punted nine times against Dallas with a 42.9-yard net average and five kicks downed inside the 20-yard line. ... Giants co-owner Steve Tisch was selected to the NFL Foundation board of directors. The non-profit supports the health, safety and wellness of athletes, youth football and the communities which support the game.
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