Beckham did some individual drills and ran some routes against air (no defenders and contact) on Tuesday. The running of routes was something he didn’t do when at OTAs earlier this spring.
The Giants expressed hope Monday that Beckham would participate in team drills, a source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson. But the preference was to try and safely avoid team reps at this point in his recovery process.
Beckham, who wants a new contract, broke his ankle in October. He’s been rehabilitating ever since, and spent most of the spring on the sidelines working with trainers.
Tuesday’s practice was a bit different. Beckham warmed up with teammates, participated in some individual drills, ran some routes vs. air and was on the field later during what appeared to be an installation or walkthrough period without a live defense.
The Giants weren’t disappointed.
“Yeah, he did a good job today,” Shurmur said. “So he was cleared to be out there; and he practiced, and he did a good job.”
Shurmur later added: “Cleared to practice. Cleared to practice. Let’s not worry about it. He’s cleared to practice, and that’s what he was doing. … He’s out there practicing. If you all wanna count the reps, go ahead. But he was out there practicing. He’s cleared to practice. … I don’t necessarily think it helps anybody to play the word game here.”
Beckham has been around a good chunk of the spring as a sort of goodwill offering to the Giants and the new regime. Several of his 2014 draft classmates (Aaron Donald, Zack Martin, Khalil Mack, Taylor Lewan) have not attended OTAs and/or minicamp as they search for new deals.
Beckham has taken an alternative approach.
“That’s the tough thing about this. He doesn’t want to be away from the team,” wide receiver Sterling Shepard said. “He wants everything to be worked out, but that is the nature of the business. You have the business side of it.
“So there are things that guys want to take care of before they step on the field. You can’t knock them for that either.”
Shurmur didn’t close the door on the possibility that Beckham could take the field in team drills later this week. The Giants have two more minicamp practices scheduled this week, before taking a six-week break before training camp.
Shurmur didn’t think Beckham’s contract situation factored into his participation on Tuesday.
“I’m not worried about it; neither is he,” Shurmur said. “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 and Beckham have built a strong relationship early this year. They text and communicate regularly and have appeared to be on the same page.
Beckham’s made progress. He was running, cutting and running routes on Tuesday without any signs that his leg shattered. Beckham even asked Shepard to watch him while he ran routes during the practice.
“He looked good. He was asking me to watch him during routes on air. Pshhhh,” Shepard said. “I swear, I forget that he got hurt sometimes. He looks really good out there.”