Al Thompson
Odell Beckham, Jr. says he is “itching” to play against the Cowboys. Photo by Andy Lewis /

For NFL fans who don’t want to see their team’s stars play in preseason games, this summer proved their point.

Earlier this summer, New England Patriots star wide receiver Julian Edelman suffered a torn ACL in their third preseason game against the Detroit Lions.

The week before, Giants fans all over thought they may have lost their star wide receiver when Odell Beckham Jr. left the team’s preseason game against the Cleveland Browns following a low hit in the second quarter by Cleveland cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun.

The team announced he suffered an ankle sprain on the play. The 24-year-old was also tested for a concussion and cleared.

Beckham’s sprain was not serious in there were no tears. But he is day-to-day and as of Wednesday, his status for Sunday’s opener in Dallas (8:30 p.m. NBC) was up in the air.

Beckham spoke to reporters after practice – he took part in – and was asked if he still had a chance to play.

“I wouldn’t count it out,” he said. “My heart – it’s just not going to make this easy. I can say that it’s a day to day thing – really trying to get better. It’s been two weeks. I’m itching. I’m itching, but just patience and trusting.”

He was asked if he has done any running, sprinting or cutting.

“Yeah. Here and there,” Beckham said. “I’ve done some running and cutting.”

Beckham was asked if he had any idea whether he would be cleared to play to play Sunday.

“I don’t know. It’s just something you feel,” he said. “Something you feel and when they clear you, they’ll clear you to play. I mean, it sucks, but it’s just a day to day thing. You try and get better each and every day. I’ve been rehabbing an endless amount of hours and treatment, etc. So, just trying to get it right.”

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is in the same boat as Giants head coach Ben McAdoo. Both have to prepare to play against an opponent’s best player not 100 percent sure if they are playing.

“Obviously, he’s a great player,” Garrett said. “He’s one of the best players in the league. So, you prepare for him to play and I know he’s a competitor and he wants to do anything that he can do get out there. So, you prepare for him, but as it works in the NFL every week, if a starting player isn’t available, typically teams put in a backup guy who is ready to go too. So, we’re prepared for the Giants, he’s part of it. They have a lot of weapons on offense. So, if he’s able to go, we understand those challenges, if he’s not able to go, they have a lot of good players there. So, we recognize those challenges as well.”

Beckham was asked if his recovery is taking longer than he thought.

“I knew what it was when it happened,” Beckham said. “It’s just a matter of how fast you can get back. I think we’re on a tremendous path 16 days out. So, like I said, it’s really – it’s getting there day to day and we’ll see when the time comes around.”

This is the NFL’s marque match-up of week 1. Obviously the Giants best offensive player wants to be on the field for the opening game on primetime.

“All that,” Beckham said. “I had probably one of the longest offseasons ever in my life and I feel like this camp, this season coming up, there was no better season that I would have. So, it’s just unfortunate, but it really was just a little setback for me to come back. Whatever. However you want to look at it, I just know I’m in a good place and trying to get there day to day just being patient.

“I’m itching to get out there,” he continued. “Let me just say that. We have a very good matchup. We have a very good game plan. It’s going to be a very good game. I know on this side – I don’t know what’s going on over there – but I know the Giants are coming with it. Set the tone for the season and really start things off the way we want and get us on the right path. So, I know for sure we’re coming with it and we look to take advantage of the mismatches and the opportunities they do have in their defense.”

The Giants swept the Cowboys last year. The Cowboys only other loss was a meaningless game against Philadelphia in season finale.

Garrett was asked to describe how his team is feeling going into the season opener, knowing that they got swept by the Giants last season.

“Yeah, again, our focus is on ourselves and doing what we need to do each day to play our best football,” Garrett said. “And that’s really where our attention always is. And I think our team understands why that’s important and why it’s critical for us to keep our focus right there. We obviously have great respect for the Giant organization, for the Giants team. We had some great games against them through the years and again, we recognize the challenges. We’re going to practice as well as we can practice this week and go try and play our best ballgame.”

7 Sep 17 - Football, Giants, NFL - Al Thompson - No Comments