*Odell Beckham Jr. updates his status for Sunday's matchup in Dallas: *
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Odell Beckham, Jr. very clearly wants to play in the Giants' season-opener in Dallas on Sunday night, but just as obviously is uncertain that he will.
Beckham, who sprained his left ankle in a preseason game in Cleveland on Aug. 21, did not practice today, as the Giants held their first full-scale workout in preparation for the Cowboys game.
"I wouldn't count it out," Beckham said in his first public comments since the night he was hurt. "My heart – it's just not going to make this easy. I can say that it's a day to day thing – really trying to get better. It's been two weeks. I'm itching. I'm itching, but just patience and trusting."
Coach Ben McAdoo said Beckham does not have to practice to play in the game.
"If Odell is cleared to play medically, we'll play him," McAdoo said. "If he's not, we won't."
Beckham said what he misses by sitting out practice are "reps." But it's not as if he's new to the offense, or a stranger to the teammate who throws him passes.
"I've been throwing with Eli (Manning) since I was a sophomore in high school," the three-time Pro Bowler said. "It's been two weeks. Nothing is really going to change. Yeah, I wish I could be practicing. I wish we could have routes and this and that. But it is what it is at this point. You just have to kind of keep going with it. Whenever they clear you, you can go."
Beckham wasn't specific when asked what was most important in proving to himself that he can play in the game.
"It's just something you feel," he said. "Something you feel and when they clear you, they'll clear you to play. I mean, it sucks, but it's just a day-to-day thing. You try and get better each and every day. I've been rehabbing an endless amount of hours and treatment, etcetera. So, just trying to get it right.
"I knew what it was when it happened. It's just a matter of how fast you can get back. I think we're on a tremendous path, 16 days out. So like I said, it's really – it's getting there day-to-day, and we'll see when the time comes around."
Beckham said he has "done some running and cutting" and noted that "today was a good day."
McAdoo continued to answer questions about Beckham's progress much like he has since soon after his star receiver was hurt.
"He got some treatment," McAdoo said. "He's getting all of the work in he can get and we'll see how he progresses."
Beckham last missed a game on Dec. 27, 2015 when he served a one-game NFL suspension when the Giants were in Minnesota. He has not been forced out of uniform because of injury since the first four games of his career in 2014, when he had a strained hamstring. Last year, he played in every game for the first time in his career.
Although eager to play, Beckham is fully aware he must follow his rehabilitation program, or he could miss more time.
"It's just what you love to do and, you know, nobody ever wants that taken away from them, especially with the amount of work we've been putting in," he said. "The chemistry and everything. We were just rolling. We were in a good place. That's life, though. Life happens. You get set back. It's really how you come back from that, how you handle adversity. This is nothing that I won't overcome."
Beckham said he will not wear protective equipment to play.
"If I have to wear a brace or tape it, then I'm probably not going to play," he said. "Pretty natural. I haven't taped since high school. I don't remember, I just stopped taping ankles. I just kind of go with the natural feel of it. So if it feels right, there's no way I'm not going to play. If it feels right and they clear it, we're working it."
Until then, his availability will remain a mystery. Or, as Beckham put it, "Whenever they clear it, then we'll be cleared."
A look at the expected starters for the Giants' opener in Dallas