That was Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants on Thursday, kiddingly chiding running back Saquon Barkley for straining a hamstring during practice early in the week. Beckham, in case you don’t remember, missed the first four games of the season during his 2014 rookie season because of a hamstring injury.
On a serious note, Beckham did have some advice for the exciting rookie.
“I told him, just take your time. There’s nothing you need to prove to any of us, there’s nothing you need to prove to anybody. You know what you’re capable of, I know what you’re capable of, we know what you’re capable of, it’s just about getting healthy,” Beckham said.
“I remember I think I pulled my hamstring my rookie year, and just having to deal with that, I kind of can give him some insight on what I went through. But at the same time, I still have to step back because it’s his journey and you have to let him make his decisions. But just trying to keep his spirits up, he wants to be out there, he’s always been a guy who works hard. Just keeping his mind right, man, he’s going to be good come September 9th and that’s all that really matters now.”
Here are a few more takeaways from Beckham’s time with the media on Thursday.
On the decision to practice against the Detroit Lions
Beckham, without a new contract and still not having played in a game since fracturing his ankle last season, was a full participant in joint practices vs. the Lions.
“I just need it, the season is coming up. You need that work, I can’t really shy away from it right now,” he said.
“There were some periods where I remember I was going eight plays in a row, or something like that. You kind of build up that wind. And even in practice, I’ve been getting pushed a lot at practice. Asking for reps just because I need it. I need to feel that. I need to feel eight to 10 plays, maybe 15 plays, and just kind of get that back. It’s just very helpful to be able to come out and go against somebody else and compete. Every day that you have the chance to go out on the field, we have a chance to get better right now. So, that’s all I’m focusing on.”
The contract question
Of course questions about his contract would come. Beckham, as he did a couple of weeks ago, deflected.
“I definitely think it’s going to work itself out. When is it going to happen? You don’t know. That’s the business side that is still new to me in a sense, this is the first time I’ve had to deal with this or go through any of those things. I believe that it’s going to work itself out, it’s just a matter of time. Just like everything in life, it’s timing,” Beckham said.
“I’ll let them figure it out. Right now, I just want to be back on the field. It feels good out there to run routes, to catch passes, to be able to be with those guys, grinding every day. We’re up at seven, we have meetings, this, that, just to be back in the swing of things, I just feel like I’m back in love with what I’ve always loved.”
Will he play Friday night?
Beckham was evasive about whether he would play against the Lions, or in any of the Giants preseason games.
“Coach (Shurmur) and I have a game plan. We usually figure it out and we just go from there. So, we’ll see what it is for this week, and then worry about next week when it comes,” Beckham said.
“I’ve been playing football all my life, football is always going to be football. I can go in preseason and get hit a million times and go in a game and get hit once. I can go in preseason and get hit once, you never know, every play in football is a dangerous play. I feel very confident in myself and, like I said, I’ve been playing football all of my life, so it’s always going to be football to me.”