Beckham hurt the ankle in a preseason game Aug. 21 when he was hit awkwardly by Cleveland Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun. It forced him to miss Sunday night’s regular-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
After working on the side with trainers last week, Beckham ran through individual drills at Giants practice on Thursday, their first of this week. He ran, jumped and looked much closer to 100 percent than in the lead-up to the Cowboys game.
Beckham is likely to be designated as a limited participant in practice.
This is a positive sign as the Giants play the Detroit Lions on Monday night. Beckham still has another four days to get ready for the contest.
His return would be a boost to an offense that struggled badly without its top playmaker. The Giants managed just two first downs in the first half and three points in Sunday’s opener. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall had one catch for 10 yards in his debut with the team.
“There’s no hiding the fact [that Beckham’s] a playmaker. Our best player. It’s pretty obvious,” quarterback Eli Manning said Wednesday. “I think everybody knows that. It’s different when he’s on the field, but on there or not, we have to play better than what we did, and we can, and we will.”
The Giants approached last week as if Beckham wouldn’t play, even though he went through a pregame workout before officially being ruled out Sunday night. He hadn’t participated in a single practice in almost three weeks.
Now, he’s at least stepped onto the field and practiced with his teammates.
It will be important to see how Beckham comes through the workout and bounces back the following day. The Giants have their longest and most physical practice of the week Friday.
They will want to make sure they don’t risk anything long-term with their best offensive weapon. They don’t want this to be something that lingers throughout the season.
“There’s definitely a part of that,” Manning said. “You don’t want him having something lingering for 16-17 weeks or longer and said, ‘Hey, get it right,’ and we dealt with it a little his rookie year with his hamstring and kind of make sure you get right the first time. Be at your best.”
Right now, Beckham is getting closer.