The New York Giants lost their second preseason game in a row, 10-6, to the Cleveland Browns, but all Big Blue Nation cares about is the well-being of their wideouts – specifically Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall.
The former left the game midway through the second quarter with a left ankle sprain, while the latter exited at halftime with a banged-up shoulder. Neither returned to action, obviously, considering it was merely a preseason game, but it brought up the age-old debate about the necessary evil that is the exhibition season.
Miami Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry, a close friend of Beckham’s and former teammate at Louisiana State University, voiced his immediate displeasure via Twitter upon his buddy’s injury.
Fortunately (for now) Beckham is fine and believes there won’t be any bad news once he gets further tests, Tuesday morning. The initial report came back negative after getting X-rays. Beckham walked around the locker room seemingly fine, but Tuesday morning’s results will show whether or not there’s reason for concern. As anyone who has ever suffered an ankle sprain can attest, it’s not until after the adrenaline rush wears off and activity ceases that a sprain may worsen. Beckham hurt his ankle around 8:45 p.m., EST, on Monday, but it won’t be until about 8:45 a.m., EST, on Tuesday that he knows the true affects.
“It feels like a sprained ankle … but it’ll be alright,” Beckham said with a smile, postgame, at his locker, reasoning that he could’ve continued to play had it been a regular season game. “Everything is alright and everything feels good, alright, so just shake it off and play football.”
Marshall also exited upon getting hit on the shoulder. When Eli Manning over-threw the wideout on a deep sideline pass, Marshall, who seemed to slow down knowing it was merely a preseason contest, dropped the pass – but still took a shot on the shoulder from hard-charging rookie safety Jabrill Peppers. The “business decision” of pulling up cost Marshall a big play and some soreness on that shoulder.
He later left the game to undergo X-rays in the locker room. Results were not immediately known upon the game’s conclusion.
Manning (10-of-14 for 80 yards in five drives) acknowledged his passes were instrumental in banging up his precious wideouts, particularly with Beckham, but said he got the feeling all will be well and the duo will be able to return to action soon enough.
“I tried to put it in a spot where he [Beckham] can get it. You don’t want to throw that sideline [pass] too low where the cornerback can drop back and get it,” Manning reasoned. “You never want to see guys leaving the field, so hopefully all of them [wideout Tavarres King also injured his ankle] are minor and they get back to work and get back out there to continue some things. Hopefully everything’s alright.”
Beckham thinks he’ll be fine and was happy the initial reports backed up that assumption.
“That [relieved] is a great word,” he said when asked if that’s what he felt.
The Giants will be relieved, too, if their prized wideouts are deemed good to go. This is an offense built around the big-play capabilities of its receivers, which means they can’t afford to lose any of those weapons — especially Beckham — considering the running game looks suspect. Starting running back Paul Perkins was once again ineffective, gaining just 10 yards on six carries against the Browns. The Giants’ offense produced just one first down in three first-quarter drives.
Simply put, the Giants need their perimeter players to ice up and rest up and not pin its hopes on the failing running game, a second-year wideout in Sterling Shepard who’s still finding his way, and a rookie tight end in Evan Engram – albeit, talented – to become the primary targets.