It was just half-speed catching passes against another wide receiver serving as a dummy cornerback, but it was something. It was more than Beckham had done the previous two days, and his first practice rep since suffering a broken ankle in a Week 5 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Beckham suffered the injury in October. Six months later, he has not been cleared to participate in minicamp practice. He spent all of Tuesday and Wednesday (and most of Thursday) working on the side with a trainer.
“It’s terrific,” coach Pat Shurmur said of Beckham expanding his involvement. “We all know what a great player he is. He’s making progress to getting fully cleared. You can see he’s lively, involved, taking all the mental reps he can. It’s great.”
Beckham has spent most of his offseason training in Los Angeles. He has been cutting and running routes. He appears to be moving well -- running, jumping and cutting -- at minicamp.
The Giants wanted to see Beckham’s progress this spring. It’s a key step in the process toward potentially solidifying his future with the team.
Beckham wants a new deal. The hope is that his attendance at the offseason program and minicamps -- which he didn’t attend last year -- will help spark meaningful negotiations between the sides. That hasn’t happened yet.
But when Beckham is cleared, Shurmur expects him to be on the field participating fully in drills. That will be a bridge to cross when the time comes later this spring or summer.
“When he’s cleared, of course,” Shurmur said.
While Beckham dipped to the side early at practice to continue his rehabilitation, most of the rest of his teammates ran through minicamp drills. Second-year quarterback Davis Webb had a second straight strong day as he tries to make a strong first impression on the coaching staff.
“I thought he did a much better job the second and third day [of minicamp],” Shurmur said.
The Giants have the No. 2 pick in Thursday night’s NFL draft, and a quarterback is an outside possibility.
Beckham wasn’t the only player who didn’t participate fully in Thursday’s practice because of injury. Outside linebacker Avery Moss, running back Paul Perkins and wide receiver Cody Latimer also didn’t practice.
Perkins was in a sling after having a procedure done recently on a pectoral injury he suffered before the start of the offseason workout program.