Though cornerback Sam Beal has not yet made his NFL debut, he has been in the New York Giants organization long enough that he no longer feels the pre-game nerves. He is ready to be on the field to show off what he can do.
“Now I just want to prove myself,” Beal said. “I’ve been here, the feeling of being a rookie is out the window. I don’t get butterflies anymore, I’m more of like come on I’m trying to get out there.”
In the two years that Beal has struggled with injuries, he has gotten all too comfortable with life on the sidelines.
“As an athlete, when you love this game, when you have a passion for it and you sit out and just watch, it’s not the most fun, it takes a toll on you,” Beal said. “Just having the injury last year, but I’m in a better spot because last year helped me. It was kind of tough for me last year, but this year I’m like okay I have tunnel, I have a light, so I can be more calm and take my time.”
A week before the Giants opened this season in Dallas, Beal was placed on injured reserve for the second-straight year. In 2018, he had shoulder surgery shortly after his arrival to New York. He returned to the practice field this past spring but groin and hamstring injuries landed him on injured reserve.
The two years on the sidelines is the longest that Beal has ever sat out in his football career. He credits his family and friends for supporting him when he was unable to play football.
“I had a real friend that stayed up here most of the time I was hurt, she really helped me a lot,” Beal said. “You want to think about your family when you are here, you do it for your family, you don’t do it for yourself. You love the game, that part is for you. When you do things, and make the plays you make, you do it for your family, because they are watching. They are the ones that are important.”
Because the Giants designated Beal as eligible to return two weeks ago, they now have until next Wednesday to activate him. Beal can return from IR in Week 9, but the Giants do not need to make a decision until next week. If they do choose to activate Beal, the Giants would then need to release someone else to create an open spot on the active roster.
The Giants may have not made a decision on Beal yet, but he said that he feels healthy and ready to play.
“They know I want to be out there,” Beal said. “I’m not even thinking about it because I know it’s coming, I am just waiting for my moment, I’m waiting for that text or call, just ready for that moment.”
If the Giants do choose to activate Beal in the coming days, he would face off against the Cowboys at MetLife Stadium on Monday Night Football.
“I have so much aggression, that’s the perfect team,” Beal said.
“You have to learn the playbook, you have to be quick, you have to be out there fast,” Beal added. “You have to show that you can play, show that you can run. The Cowboys, they are not an easy team, so I can’t go out there 50 percent or 80 percent, I have to come out there 100 percent. They want to see the real me, I’ll get there though, only a couple more days.”
Beal knows that the Cowboys team presents many challenges. Dallas ranks in the top five in almost all offensive categories. They are first in total yards with 437.9, third in passing yards with 291.9 and fourth in rushing yards with 146. The team is also sixth in points scored with 27.1.
Beal thinks that he is ready for the challenge though.
“I’m out there running around, that’s perfect,” Beal said. “As long as I’m out there learning the calls, out there with the team, that’s perfect for me.”
Since being marked as eligible to return, Beal began by getting scout team reps against wide receiver Golden Tate. Matchups against players like Tate have helped Beal adjust back to the football mindset.
“Going against those guys just gets your feet right back,” Beal said. “They aren’t taking it easy on you, Golden told me, “You are going to get your feet wet again, we aren’t going to take it easy on you just because you are on scout team” and I appreciated that. Every time I go out there I try to work on my technique, my feet. I’m feeling good, though. Honestly, I’m feeling really good.”