Odell Beck­ham Jr. re­turns to prac­tice


Odell Beck­ham Jr. was able to prac­tice with his team­mates Thurs­day for the first time since sprain­ing his left an­kle Aug. 21, but of­fen­sive sal­va­tion from his pres­ence still may have to wait.

The wide re­ceiver re­vealed Thurs­day that the orig­i­nal prog­no­sis for his in­jury was six to eight weeks. It will be four weeks Mon­day when the Gi­ants play their home opener against the Li­ons.

“It could be four to 12 weeks,” Beck­ham said when asked about that ini­tial time frame. “You never know. Ev­ery­body heals dif­fer­ently.”

Beck­ham does a lot of things dif­fer­ently. That’s why the Gi­ants missed him so much in the opener against the Cow­boys. When it comes to heal­ing, though, Beck­ham is re­ly­ing on some harsh lessons from his first in­jury in the NFL. As a rookie in 2014 he missed the first four games when he hurt his ham­string, then tried to re­turn too quickly.

That said, Beck­ham clearly wants to play Mon­day night and put this episode be­hind him.

“I per­son­ally don’t want to get up at 6:30 every morn­ing to get here for 7 o’clock treat­ment,” he said. “The days we have off, you’re here at 10 o’clock for treat­ment. I go home and I do five, six hours of treat­ment. It’s bor­ing. It’s not fun. No­body wants to do that, and you def­i­nitely don’t want to work all off­sea­son and ev­ery­thing to get to Dal­las and have to sit there and watch. I’m itch­ing to get back on the field. I’d def­i­nitely rather be on the field than the train­ing room, I’ll tell you that much.”

He got a taste of it Thurs­day, when he went through early warm-up drills with the team and took a few team reps later in the work­out.

“It felt good just to be back out there,” Beck­ham said. “When you put that hel­met on, it’s a dif­fer­ent mode.”

Buc­ca­neers ready to start sea­son against Bears

Jameis Win­ston con­cedes it felt a lit­tle strange watch­ing the rest of the NFL be­gin the sea­son while the Tampa Bay Buc­ca­neers were scat­tered around the coun­try for an un­sched­uled bye im­posed by Hur­ri­cane Irma.

When the young quar­ter­back fi­nally takes the field Sun­day in the team’s de­layed opener, Win­ston will not have taken a snap in a game in three weeks.

Other key play­ers, in­clud­ing re­ceivers DeSean Jack­son and Mike Evans, de­fen­sive tackle and for­mer South­east High School and OU star Ger­ald McCoy and line­backer Kwon Alexan­der, will line up against the Chicago Bears with­out hav­ing played since Aug. 17.

“I went through a tough time watch­ing, but I re­ally wasn’t think­ing about my­self,” Win­ston, who left town to wait out the storm with fam­ily in Alabama, said.

“I was think­ing about what we were go­ing through — what the peo­ple in Florida were go­ing through, what the peo­ple in Hous­ton went through be­cause at the end of the day ev­ery­thing is big­ger than foot­ball,” the third-year pro added.

Rusty or not, the Bucs say they have no ex­cuse to not play well against the Bears (0-1), who dropped their de­but with Win­ston’s for­mer backup, Mike Glen­non, at quar­ter­back 23-17 to the de­fend­ing NFC cham­pion At­lanta Falcons.

Tampa Bay’s sched­uled opener at Miami was moved to Nov. 19, mean­ing the Bucs will play 16 con­sec­u­tive weeks to close the reg­u­lar sea­son.

“At the end of the day, no­body re­ally cares about us play­ing 16 games or our starters not play­ing (pre­sea­son) games,” Win­ston said. “Our job is to come in here and play foot­ball, and that’s all.”

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