Odell Beckham Jr. alarmingly called his sprained left ankle “a 6-to-8-week thing” on Thursday. And while that doesn’t rule Beckham out immediately for a second-straight game to start the Giants’ season, the timeline Beckham let slip technically would put his healing around Weeks 4 or 5 of the NFL season in October at the earliest.
And the last time Beckham missed the first four games of a season — with a hamstring injury as a rookie in 2014 — Tom Coughlin’s Giants went 2-2 to start a 6-10 season and missed the playoffs. That was a drastically different defense, but these 2017 Giants had their sights set on a Super Bowl, and playing a quarter of a season without their best player threatens to derail those hopes quickly and severely.
The bottom line is this: Beckham’s injury appears just as serious as it initially looked when Browns safety Briean Boddy-Calhoun undercut the Giants’ star receiver on Aug. 21 in Cleveland. Beckham’s postgame assurance he was OK clearly was born of adrenaline and maybe even relief his leg wasn’t broken.
But one thing’s for sure now: the people who accused Beckham of exaggerating his injury when he dropped to the ground inside the tunnel at FirstEnergy Stadium in front of ESPN’s cameras owe him an apology.
Beckham is not right.
“As bad(ly) I wanted to play (in Week 1 in Dallas), it just wasn’t there,” Beckham said Thursday afternoon, after his first practice — though limited — since the injury. “It had been three weeks after the injury. It hasn’t even been a month since it happened (now), and you know, this is a 6-to-8-week thing.”
If Odell Beckham Jr. does miss several more weeks, it could change the course of the Giants’ season.
Beckham paused after letting the timeline slip, perhaps catching himself a second too late.
“Unfortunately, as much as I was trying my hardest to get out there, it just wasn’t enough time,” he said.”
The alarming nature of Beckham’s timeline of course elicited follow-up questions. Six to eight weeks?
“I’m not a doctor really,” Beckham said. “I don’t know how long it is. There (are) just guidelines. It could be 4-to-12 weeks. You never know. Everybody heals differently … I really couldn’t tell you in this moment, but I’m working my best to get to 100 so once I do get there, there won’t be any more problems. But at the moment, we don’t know.”
Not to put words in Beckham’s mouth, but it sounds like even if he does play in Monday night’s home opener against the Detroit Lions, he will be far below 100-percent healthy.
Odell Beckham Jr. getting treatment on his ankle.
(Odell Beckham Jr./@obj)
And none of that has to do with an alleged “dance battle” that one report said Beckham had with NBA star Russell Westbrook recently at a Manhattan nightspot. Beckham resented the mere mention of that story on Thursday and mocked it by painting a sarcastic picture of the supposed show he and Westbrook had put on.
“I figured you would ask,” Beckham said in answer to the Daily News’ question, before joking: “It was a full-on dance battle, man. We were in there breakdancing. I had the little beanie with the (propeller) on it swinging on my head. It was incredible to be able to do something like that with Russell, man. It was everything for me.
“I don’t know (if it’s true). I’m not really the judge of it,” Beckham continued. “I know ‘dance battle’ looks good on a title. It’s like, ‘Hey, a dance battle.’ Everything is good, you know? I know how stuff works now. So you can’t really take it personally. It doesn’t bother me.”
So Beckham’s night out was mischaracterized?
“Yeah, but it happens, it happens all the time, too,” Beckham said. “It’s not really something that bothers me anymore, you know?”
Odell Beckham Jr. clearly wasn’t faking when he fell to the locker room floor after his preseason injury.
(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Beckham maturely said he did not look at his team’s horrible Week 1 loss as a way of proving his value by being off the field.
“I don’t really look into that. I was really trying my best in warmups, I was trying to get out there and play,” Beckham said. “And even knowing I wasn’t in the best position to play, there was still that temptation – and maybe it might have been growth for me to be like, ‘I’m gonna actually have to rest up and make that decision, because everything in me was like, ‘We’re here. Lights on. It’s Dallas. I wanna get out there that bad.’
“You’ve just got to be smart,” Beckham said. “It’s a long season. And that’s one game. Unfortunately we lost, but it’s one game. You’ve got 15 more to prove yourself.”
Well, the Giants have 15 more games. But how many of them will Beckham play in? Fewer than 15, it sounds like, unless something drastic changes in the next three days.
THE INJURY REPORT
Only two Giants on the 53-man roster did not practice: right tackle Bobby Hart (right ankle) and linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion). Robinson did not play in Week 1. Hart was injured on Sunday and said Wednesday he intends to play in Week 2 despite his ailment … Top corner Janoris Jenkins, who had his right hand wrapped after Sunday’s loss, also was listed on Thursday’s initial injury report with an ankle injury. But Jenkins practiced in full, as did DT Jay Bromley (left knee sprain) and WR Tavarres King (right ankle sprain). Bromley played in Week 1; King was inactive.