EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- With four minutes left in Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, the New York Giants' season went from bad to truly disastrous. They lost another game and their star player, Odell Beckham Jr.
And it isn’t good. At. All.
Beckham went up to catch a pass with the Giants holding a slim two-point lead. He landed awkwardly and fractured his left ankle. A source ESPN that Beckham could require surgery but he is getting a second opinion.
The Chargers players immediately called for medical assistance from the Giants' sideline. Players knelt on one knee and Beckham left on a cart with a towel over his face. Those are never good signs.
“I knew it was bad,” tight end Evan Engram said.
As if this season couldn’t get worse for the still-winless Giants, quarterback Eli Manning fumbled deep in his own territory on the play after Beckham was injured. The Chargers scored several plays later, and the Giants (0-5) remained one of three teams without a victory this season after a 27-22 loss.
“0-5, we didn’t plan it that way,” wide receiver Roger Lewis said.
This is how it has all unfolded for a team that entered the season with high expectations and Super Bowl dreams. They’re now looking at a lost season -- potentially without their top playmaker.
It wasn’t just Beckham whom the Giants lost on Sunday. He was the fourth wide receiver to leave the contest. Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard injured their ankles in the second quarter and Dwayne Harris fractured his foot early in the second half.
By the time the Giants were trying to march for the game-winning touchdown, they had one healthy wide receiver remaining. That was Roger Lewis. Engram was playing wide receiver on the final drive.
“To be honest, it didn’t hit me and then I was like, wait, why do we have three tight ends out here,” guard Justin Pugh said. “Then I realized that Dwayne went down, Shep went down, Brandon went down, Odell went down.
Beckham is the most significant blow. The Giants already saw what their offense looked like without him earlier this season. They produced just 13 points when Beckham missed the opener and was limited Week 2 against the Lions.
His loss is demoralizing to a team that counts so heavily on his contributions.
“It’s definitely tough to play when one of our best players goes down,” said safety Landon Collins, who also came off the field for a few plays and left the locker room with a limp. “All of our guys were going down – Sterling, BMarsh. To see all the guys go down, it’s very hard.”
For a while it seemed as if the Giants might actually escape with their first victory. They had the lead until Beckham crumbled to the ground late in the fourth quarter.
This all came in a game in which Beckham almost served as the hero, much like he was last year in Week 6 against the Baltimore Ravens. He tried to resuscitate the Giants' season with a 48-yard touchdown that gave them the lead early in the fourth quarter. Beckham dropped to his knees in celebration after the score and performed CPR (without the mouth-to-mouth) on the football.
Except this is the 2017 Giants season. Nothing appears to be going right. The Giants lost four receivers on Sunday, at least two (Beckham and Harris) appeared serious. They also saw defensive captain Jonathan Casillas (burner) and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (foot) leave early. Running back Orleans Darkwa, Collins and defensive tackle Jay Bromley were also banged up in the contest.
It’s not about to get any easier for the Giants. Next up: Sunday night in Denver.
Where do they go from here?
“Back to work,” coach Ben McAdoo said.
Without Beckham and potentially several other key players. The ’17 season appears headed in a disastrous path.