EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Just in time, perhaps, to save the Giants' offense, Odell Beckham, Jr. is back.
And it turns out, he wasn't expected to be back nearly this soon.
After returning to the practice field 3 ½ weeks after he first sprained his ankle, the Giants star receiver admitted his injury was supposed to be "a 6-8 week thing," later telling SNY's Taylor rooks that it could be a 4-to-12 week thing. So he could still be 2-to-9 weeks away from being fully recovered.
Regardless, he was able to practice on a "limited" basis on Thursday and he vowed to do his best to play in the Giants' home opener on Monday night.
"I'm ready to get off that table and get out of that treatment room," Beckham said. "I just want to play that bad. I'm doing my best to get to 100 (percent)."
He's not there yet, but Beckham also said "I don't have that luxury. It's about to get to a point where you just have to have confidence enough in it that you can go.
Beckham declined to put a percentage on his potential availability, and his coach, Ben McAdoo, said only that his confidence level was "more than last week." Beckham tried to go last Sunday night in Dallas after not practicing in three full weeks, but he said "As bad as I wanted to play, it just wasn't there. There just wasn't enough time."
Beckham, of course, has been dealing with this injury -- a high ankle sprain -- since he got hurt in the Giants' preseason game in Cleveland back on Aug. 21. He actually looked real good when he did some running, cutting and jumping in the half hour or so the practice was open to the media on Thursday.
There's still no guarantee he'll be on the field when the Giants play their home opener against the Detroit Lions on Monday night, but multiple sources in the organization believe there's a much better chance he'll play in this game than there was when he missed the 19-3 loss in Dallas on Opening Night.
A big key, though, will be how he feels on Friday and whether he's able to participate in practice on two consecutive days. Whatever happens, McAdoo has always says it will be a "medical decision" as to whether or not Beckham plays, but there figures to be a real internal push to make that happen given the Giants' moderately desperate situation. Their offense was atrocious in Dallas, amassing just 233 yards and three points. They don't want to lose to the Lions and be 0-2 heading into a Week 3 game in Philadelphia.
The presence of Beckham can't cure all the Giants' problems, of course, but he is one of the top receivers in football and he's capable of breaking open games all by himself. Plus his mere presence could help open things up for other targets, like Brandon Marshall, the Giants' No. 2 receiver who was held to just one catch against the Cowboys on the final play of that game.
Said Beckham: "I'm itching to get back on the field."