news / 12.14.2016 Odell Beckham Jr. maintains focus on Lions
Odell Beckham, Jr. today took on two personal sore subjects: his thumb and dropped passes.
Although he has missed no practice or game time, the Giants’ leading receiver conceded the thumb has bothered him. And he did so in response to a question not about the thumb, but regarding whether he caught balls from the JUGS machine Monday, a day after Beckham dropped two passes in a 10-7 victory against Dallas.
“It’s a line between wanting to get better and also trying to protect that thumb for right now,” Beckham said. “Because you can’t keep taking too much contact to it for right now, until it’s game time. Just trying to find a way.”
In response to another question, Beckham seemed to both maximize and minimize the impact of his sore thumb.
“It’s only when there’s contact or I try and grab someone,” he said. “It’s not like it’s a regular finger, it’s your thumb. It’s the most important one you have. It’s definitely difficult but I’ve dealt with it before, and I’m sure it will happen again. You just have to play through it and rub some dirt on it.”
That’s tough to do on the MetLife Stadium turf, but the Giants did practice on one of their grass fields today.
Beckham – who leads the Giants with 79 catches for 1,109 yards, and nine touchdowns – uncharacteristically mishandled two passes Sunday night. The first would have received much more scrutiny had the Giants lost, because it would have been a touchdown. On a third down late in the first quarter, Beckham got behind cornerback Brandon Carr, but couldn’t hold onto Eli Manning’s pass at the 5-yard line. He later dropped a shorter pass over the middle.
“Just dropped it,” Beckham said of the long pass “Was trying to find the ball and I found it late. Tried to cradle it in instead of catching it how I would usually catch it. It just got up on me. The second one, I was just trying to make a play. I went to squeeze it and it shot out of my hand.”
Wide receivers who drops passes must have the same mentality as cornerbacks who are victimized for long gains or touchdowns – forget about it and move on. But that’s a challenge even for an experienced receiver with Beckham’s impeccable credentials.
“I have trouble just moving on,” he said. “I’m pretty obsessive over, at least, that area of the game. It definitely bothers me, whenever I drop a pass. It sure won’t be the first and it sure won’t be the last.
“You can’t really worry about it. I’ve dropped a pass before. It’s not the end of the world for me, and it does not break my confidence. It’s not going to deter me from doing what I’m capable of doing. I just don’t want to have them. I don’t want to have any more drops.” The sore thumb was forgotten, and the dropped passes forgiven, in the third quarter, when Beckham caught a short Manning pass, found a different gear, and outran Carr to the end zone for a 61-yard touchdown that proved to be the game-winning score.
Beckham isn’t dwelling on anything that happened in the Dallas game, good or bad. Up next for the 9-4 Giants are the Detroit Lions, who have won five in a row, sport the same record, and lead the NFC North by two games.
Beckham will likely be covered most, if not all, of the game by Detroit’s top cornerback, Darius Slay, with whom he is familiar. Beckham played at LSU when Slay was at another SEC school, Mississippi State.
“I’ve gone against him in college, so I’ve known, seen and watched him for a long time,” Beckham said. “We’ve always competed. It’s fun going against a guy that loves football. He loves to compete. It’ll be a good matchup, so to say.”
Michael Eisen | giants.com | December 14, 2016