NFL Football

Beckham practices on limited basis, closer to playing

(AP Photo/Tom Canavan)

By TOM CANAVAN

AP Sports Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Odell Beckham Jr. is getting closer to returning to the New York Giants' lineup.

The three-time Pro Bowl receiver, who missed the season opener in Dallas, practiced on a limited basis Thursday for the first time since spraining his left ankle more than three weeks ago.

Beckham actually took two steps in his recovery. He took part in some individualized drills and followed that by running routes at "not high speed" and taking some mental reps at the end of practice in preparation for Monday night's home opener against the Detroit Lions.

The 24-year-old catalyst of the Giants' offense said there are still some movements that irk his ankle.

"Day by day it is getting better so we are going in the right direction," said Beckham, who said the recovery time for his type of ankle injury can last two months. That would indicate a high ankle sprain.

Beckham had not practiced since spraining his ankle in a preseason game on Aug. 21. He started stretching with his teammates during warmups last week.

For the past three weeks he has been showing up for treatment at the team headquarters at 7 a.m. and later going home for an additional 5-to-6 hours of treatment.

"It's boring," he said. "It's not fun. Nobody wants to do that. I definitely didn't want to work all offseason and everything and then go to Dallas and sit there and watch."

Beckham would not speculate on whether he would be able to play this week. He admitted he is looking forward to playing in prime time, if the ankle is ready.

"It's a matter of getting to the point where you know you are confident in it (the ankle) and it is confident in itself," he said. "Then you can go and not worry about it. Until that moment comes we are being smart with it."

The Giants' offense was limited to 233 yards in the loss to the Cowboys on Sunday night.

"We had a bad game," said Beckham, who warmed up before the game and felt his ankle was not ready even though he wanted to play. "They lost the first game last year. It's one game. I am for sure not panicking."

He also downplayed a report in a New York City tabloid that he was involved in a dance off in Manhattan last week with Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"It was a full-on dance battle, man," a straight-faced Beckham said. "We were in there breakdancing. I had the little beanie with the pad on it spinning on my head. It was incredible to be able to do something like that with Russell. It really was everything for me."

When asked point blank, Beckham said the report mischaracterized what happened.

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Updated September 14, 2017

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