When the Giants selected Sam Beal in the third round of the 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft, they expected the former Western Michigan cornerback to have more of an impact by now.
Over the past two years, Beal has appeared in just one training camp practice -- as a rookie. He reaggravated his shoulder injury in 2018 and had season-ending surgery, and he started his sophomore campaign off hobbled by hamstring issues to begin the summer during a non-padded workout.
Despite his extended absence -- he has never played a snap of preseason action, only suiting up for one practice in pads -- Beal is eligible to return from injured reserve next week, which gives the Giants options. Head coach Pat Shurmur said that the Giants are monitoring the situation closely as Beal works back.
"He's making good progress," Shurmur said Wednesday. "And I think we have until next Wednesday to make a final decision on him, and so we'll just see, again, what the next week brings."
The Giants started the 2019 regular season with Beal on the 53-man roster, which allowed the cornerback to be placed on injured reserve and not get cut.
Shurmur said that the Giants were uncertain of Beal's status for next Wednesday, which would leave the team with a decision to make regarding his roster spot.
If they add Beal, the Giants will have to make room on their roster -- as Shurmur noted, the team "could be making some changes by the end of the week."
"If we brought him up, we'd have to release somebody," Shurmur said. "That's what we'd have to do. But the 21-day period ends next Wednesday."
Beal became the Giants' first Supplemental Draft pick since 1994.
In three years at Western Michigan -- two as a starter -- Beal starred for the Broncos with 92 tackles (two for loss), 19 pass breakups, two interceptions and one forced fumble over 32 games.
According to defensive backs coach Everrett Withers, the Giants see potential for Beal on the outside -- if he ultimately makes his return.
"The 6-foot-1, 187-pounder not only has plus size, but he displays outstanding movement skills and agility on the perimeter," NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks said July 6, 2018, before the Supplemental Draft. "Beal looks like a natural cover corner on the island with the potential to play in a nose-to-nose position or from distance. He flashes outstanding footwork, balance and body control shadowing receivers while staying in their hip pocket down the field. Beal's discipline and detail in coverage suggest that he could grow into a front-line player in a diverse scheme that features man and zone concepts with a variety of techniques."