Beckum making good progress

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Giants tight end Travis Beckum will run on Tuesday for the first time since tearing the ACL in his right knee during Super Bowl XLVI.

Beckum will just run straight ahead, not go side-to-side or make cuts, but it's still a very encouraging sign.

"I think Beckum will be back at some point in time [this coming season]," coach Tom Coughlin said, on the opening day of the team's three-day veterans minicamp, "He's done very well."

"I’ve done everything except running [so far]," Beckum said. "Been in the pool a lot, been sprinting in the pool ... a lot of trying to make my glutes strong, my hamstrings, my quads. All that stuff is a factor in how my knee’s gonna hold up."

As for when he might be ready to play -- at the start of the regular season, or further down the line -- Beckum wouldn't guess at this point.

"I don’t know," Beckum said. "I’m kinda taking it week by week, day by day. Whatever my knee tells me, I’m gonna do."

If healthy, Beckum could be a key player for the Giants in 2012, considering the team also lost starting tight end Jake Ballard to a torn ACL in the Super Bowl win over the Patriots.

Ballard's injury was more severe. His knee also required microfracture surgery and he could miss the entire 2012 season. The Giants waived Ballard on Monday after a failed physical; the Patriots claimed him on Tuesday, Ballard's agent said.

Beckum, 25, a third-round draft choice in 2009 out of Wisconsin, had just five receptions for 93 yards and one touchdown in the 2011 regular season. But he had seven receptions combined in the Giants' three NFC playoff victories, leading up to the Super Bowl.

Ballard, 24, an undrafted free agent out of Ohio State, had 38 catches for 604 yards and four TDs in the 2011 regular season.

The Giants signed 25-year-old tight end Martellus Bennett (17 catches, 144 yards in 2011) in the offseason. Bennett spent the past four seasons backing up Jason Witten with the Cowboys.

They also have 26-year-old Bear Pascoe (12 catches, 136 yards), 27-year-old Christian Hopkins (a practice squad player last year), and fourth-round draft choice Adrien Robinson out of Cincinnati.