Odell Beckham looks ready for action. His sprints appear full-speed. His one-handed catches are in midseason form. His injured ankle seems fully healed, even withstanding a hard crash on a leaping fade route in Tuesday’s practice.
But Giants coach Pat Shurmur still won’t reveal whether Beckham will see any in-game action in the preseason.
“We’ll see,” said Shurmur, when asked if the star receiver will play against the Jets on Friday. “He’s doing really well in practice here, so we’ll see where he’s at. Again, [he’s] coming back from injury, so we’ll try to be smart with him.”
Eli Manning and Beckham connected on several passes in practice, but still put in extra work. While waiting for the first team to take reps in red zone drills, the quarterback and star receiver worked on routes behind the rest of the team, then stayed after practice to do the same.
Running back Saquon Barkley (hamstring) missed his sixth straight practice, but did work on the side.
“He’s training really well and doing more and more each day,” Shurmur said. “We like the path he’s on.”
Shurmur wouldn’t comment on whether he’d prefer it if Barkley appeared in another preseason game, but Manning certainly would.
“Saquon, that’s different just because he’s a rookie and missing some valuable time,” said Manning, comparing Beckham and Barkley’s absences. “I know he’s getting mental reps. That’s different than practice reps. That’s different than game reps. Hopefully he can come back soon.”
Shurmur extended an open invitation for recently retired Victor Cruz to come to Giants practice, as he previously did with Michael Strahan, Tiki Barber and others.
“I think it’s important to embrace the great players from the past,” Shurmur said. “It’s important the [players] understand what it means to be a Giant from a player’s perspective, and what it takes to win Super Bowls. I called former Giants coaches as well. I think it’s important to hear their perspective, and I’m always looking for perspective.”
On Tuesday, Shurmur turned to another New York sports legend — Derek Jeter. The Giants coach played a video to the team of the former shortstop’s message at the celebration for the 1998 Yankees championship team, in which Jeter discussed how much the team cared about winning, and didn’t care who received the spotlight.
“It was a great team message,” Shurmur said. “Just an example of how I’m constantly talking about team, and I really do believe if we’re going to get where we need to go, we need to be a really galvanized group of guys.”
Shurmur said over the weekend that he wanted an explanation from the NFL about Mark Herzlich’s questionable penalty for lowering his helmet in Friday’s game against the Lions.
Herzlich was just concerned with making sure he isn’t flagged for it again.
“This could be a situation where they’re over-calling it now so you get used to it, but as players we do have to know that they’re out there,” Herzlich said.
Cornerback Donte Deayon returned to his first full practice Monday after missing three weeks with a hamstring injury, and again is making a case to start in the slot. The 24-year-old received several reps as a first-teamer in nickel coverage, and recorded an interception.
Following a strong second preseason game, Davis Webb looked shaky again. The backup quarterback was intercepted after throwing off his back foot and missed multiple uncontested throws to open receivers.
Besides Barkley, linebackers Connor Barwin (knee) and Calvin Munson (concussion) and safety Darian Thompson (hamstring) also did not practice. Running back Jalen Simmons (concussion) wore a non-contact jersey.
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