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Will Odell Beckham Jr. be ready for Giants' season opener?
Odell Beckham Jr.'s preseason is over. Of course, it never really began.
Tom Coughlin said the Giants' first-round pick who has been sidelined most of the spring and summer will not play in Thursday's preseason finale against the Patriots. Beckham's first appearance in a Giants uniform will have to wait until the regular season - and maybe not even the Sept. 8 opener against the Lions.
"I'm afraid to speculate because whenever you do that it seems like it doesn't work out," Coughlin said. "I just wait to be told."
So, too, does the offense that seems desperately to need a down-the-field threat. Jerrel Jernigan has been playing that role with the starters for much of the summer, but his play has not instilled much confidence. He dropped a deep pass from Eli Manning in the Colts game that drew the ire of Coughlin, and on Monday in practice, he again had a step on a defender but did not make the grab on a deep pass from Ryan Nassib. The one on Monday was a nearly identical play to the one against the Colts, even if Coughlin's reaction to it was not.
"Well, he was there," Coughlin said with a half-full analysis of the latest Jernigan drop. "He was in position."
Perhaps Coughlin only has room to be frustrated by one receiver at a time. Right now that's Beckham. Again.
Beckham seemed to be on track to play against the Jets last week. After re-injuring the hamstring on the first day of training camp he practiced four times with the team and seemed to be coming along nicely in the fifth a week ago Monday. Then he pulled up on a long catch down the left sideline. The Giants said he was "fine" and quickly declared that it was "not a setback" to the hamstring injury that has saddled him since the spring. But Beckham has not practiced since. Yesterday, he once again was catching passes and doing light running on a side field while the rest of the team went through its paces.
Beckham has participated in only six practices this preseason, none of them fully. He also missed almost all of the spring workouts with the hamstring injury.
"He's not going to play on Thursday," Coughlin said, emphatically stating the obvious. "Have you seen him practice? How about practicing before you play? Wow."
The Giants have one more preseason practice this summer. They'll have a short walk-through workout on Friday and then regroup on Monday to begin preparing for the Lions. That should give Beckham enough time to be ready physically. But he still will not have worked much or at all on the field with the team.
Coughlin's aggravation with Beckham's injury bubbled up earlier in training camp. The player and coach had to have a heart-to-heart and realized that they shared a common frustration with the situation and not each other. Beckham has not spoken with reporters since his non-setback, but Coughlin said he can see that Beckham continues to be irritated by not being able to play.
"I think his whole personality is held within check because he's not able to do the things that he wants to do," Coughlin said.
And for the coach?
"He and I, both of our personalities are held in check," he said with a wry smile.
Having Beckham back eventually should broaden that grin as well as the capabilities of the offense.