EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Odell Beckham Jr. has been cleared to practice although the star New York Giants’ receiver did little work in team periods at the opening of the first mandatory minicamp under new coach Pat Shurmur.
Beckham, who missed several voluntary practices in the final phase of organized team activities in the past month, looked good running pass routes Tuesday. He appeared to cut well testing the left ankle that was broken on Oct. 8 against the Chargers, sidelining him for the final 11 games.
Just the fact that Beckham was there entering the final year of his contract was a positive.
It was a good day overall for Shurmur and the Giants in terms of attendance. Everyone was there, including defensive tackle Damon Harrison who missed many of the OTA practices.
The practice was what one would expect from a team looking to make amends for the 3-13 season that led to the firing of second-year coach Ben McAdoo and longtime general manager Jerry Reese.
The biggest interest centered around Beckham. He was there. The Giants also had no intention of pushing him.
Shurmur wasn’t worried about Beckham’s contract and how negotiations were proceeding. The 25-year-old three-time Pro Bowler has said he wants to be the NFL’s highest-paid player, but whether that happens with him coming off a major injury remains to be seen.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I look at a player that loves football, he’s out there right now doing his thing and he wants to be here and as the coach and the player, that’s what we talk about,” Shurmur said.
Quarterback Eli Manning said Beckham looked sharp running his routes.
Fellow receiver Sterling Shepard had no doubt Beckham would be ready for the season.
“I have never seen a guy work as hard as him and want it as much as him,” Shepard said. “There is no doubt in my mind you’ll be seeing 13 light it up in the stadium.”
Beckham did not speak to the media on Tuesday.
Harrison didn’t want to discuss why he missed many of the OTA practices, adding his big concern is getting the team back on track. He felt that Giants were better than their record, but he was at a loss to explain why the club went from being a playoff team in 2016 to one of the worst in a year.
“That was just a humbling season for everybody,” he said. “So, if anybody was on their high horse, they have no choice but to get down now and get back to the drawing board and work all over again, which is a good thing to see.”
Manning said guys were competing in practice.
“Everyone has something to prove,” the 37-year-old two-time Super Bowl MVP said. “I think guys are studying hard and going out there and competing. There are obviously mistakes every day, but guys are learning from it and not repeating them. I think it has been a good start. We have to keep it going and find ways to improve every day.”
The one notable absence was new general manager Dave Gettleman, who was recently diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment.
Shurmur said the two speak every day.
NOTES: Harrison drew some laughs talking about running back Saquon Barkley, the No. 2 pick overall in the draft. ‘Saquad’, that’s what they call him, or something like that,” Harrison said. “I’m excited to get out there in training camp, so I can hit his ass. See what he’s made of. I told him: ‘It’s not Penn State.'” … Manning did not want to comment on the settlement of a memorabilia lawsuit brought against him, the team and three former equipment managers. “Just glad it’s over,” he said. … New inside linebacker Alec Ogletree expects to relay coordinator James Bettcher’s instructions during games. … One surprise was seeing Jon Halapio working as the starting center. Brett Jones started there most of the season.
For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and — http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL