EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t looking to shut down his season because the New York Giants are eliminated from playoff contention.
He doesn’t want to risk further injury to a quad that caused him to sit out the last two games, either.
The NFL’s highest-paid receiver did not practice on either Wednesday or Thursday, which seems to indicate he will not play Sunday when the Giants (5-9) face the Colts (8-6) in Indianapolis.
The 26-year-old said his leg is feeling better and he believes his status is day to day. He added he did not think much of the injury after it happened on the final play against Philadelphia on Nov. 25, and it might have been a little more serious than he thought.
Surprisingly, Beckham played the following week against the Bears and threw and caught a touchdown pass in the Giants’ 30-27 win in overtime.
He missed games at Washington and at home against Tennessee the past two weeks.
“I am just trying to find my way back,” said Beckham, who has 77 receptions for a team-high 1,052 yards and six touchdowns. “We only get 16 opportunities to play games, missing them is not fun. I feel like I missed enough games already, so I am just trying to get back as fast as possible.”
Many observers feel the Giants should not risk further injury to their most explosive receiver with the playoffs out of reach for a second straight year. Beckham didn’t like that train of thought.
“If I can play I am going to play,” Beckham said. “That’s just the bottom line. You dreamed of being here. You dedicated and did everything to be here, so you do all this to play games. As much fun as the meetings are and all the other stuff, you do this to play games. If I can play, I am in there headfirst.”
Beckham missed most of last season after breaking his left ankle in the fifth game. He worked extremely hard in the offseason and was ready for the start of 2018.
If Beckham cannot play this weekend, his last opportunity would come in the regular-season finale against the Dallas Cowboys (8-6), who lead the NFC East but have yet to lock up a postseason berth.
“That’s the goal. I want to be able to finish the season as much as possible,” Beckham said. “But you have to listen to your body, your body is going to tell you what you need to do. I feel like times in the past I have not listened to it and other things have happened. I’m trying to look at it a day at a time and not 10 days in advance.”
Beckham refused to say whether he had more tests on his quad since last week.
Looking back on the season, Beckham said he has been encouraged with what the Giants have done under Pat Shurmur, especially winning four of five after the bye week. They went 3-13 in 2017 with a different coaching staff.
“Ever since I have been here, we have lost close games,” Beckham said. “There haven’t been a lot of games we have been blown out. Recently, we found a way to win these close games. Definitely finding ways to win and change that culture.”
Beckham said not making the Pro Bowl was motivation to work harder and get there next year.
NOTES: Besides Beckham, LB Alec Ogletree (concussion), WR Russell Shepard (ankle) and C Spencer Pulley (calf) missed practice for the second straight day. DL Kerry Wynn (thumb) was limited again. S Michael Thomas practiced fully after being excused Wednesday for a family problem.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL