Thursday injury report: Beckham speaks!

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants have been practicing without first-round pick Odell Beckham Jr. since the first day of training camp.

But Beckham has been around, and watching from up close. He had to watch from home, on television, Sunday as the Giants played the Bills in their preseason opener in Ohio. And when fellow rookie wide receiver Corey Washington scored that 73-yard touchdown, Beckham's first thought was that he'd better be careful.

"I remember trying not to celebrate too much, but I was so excited for him," Beckham said before Giants practice on Thursday.

He didn't want to celebrate by jumping up and down and risking further injury to the hamstring that's keeping him from practicing and playing. That's the focus for Beckham these days -- avoiding further injury even as the hamstring makes enough progress to make him and the team hopeful that he can return soon.

"A hamstring is one of those things where it's that last leg you need, and you feel like you're good to go but it's just not there yet," Beckham said. "And if you rush out there, you risk putting yourself back with another injury. So it's one of those things that we're all just waiting on."

Beckham has been able to do more running and cutting in the past two days than he did last week, and there's tangible progress. He obviously won't play in Saturday's game against the Steelers, but at this point it's not crazy to think he might get cleared to practice at some point next week or the week after.

"He is getting better," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "They're doing a lot with him, and I think he's responding pretty well the next day. He's not that sore. I think he's close."

Guard Geoff Schwartz, who sat out Wednesday's practice with a knee injury, is expected to return to practice Thursday night, Coughlin said. Defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles, who sprained his ankle Wednesday, won't practice Thursday or play Saturday. Running back Peyton Hillis remains out for a while with a sprained ankle of his own, and return specialist Trindon Holliday is out with a hamstring injury. We'll see whether defensive tackle Mike Patterson (shoulder) can return to practice Thursday.

Left tackle Will Beatty, who's rehabbing a broken leg, is practicing more or less in full every day but won't play on Saturday. Coughlin said the plan is for Beatty to play in next week's preseason game in Indianapolis. Ditto cornerback Trumaine McBride, who's practicing fine but is still being held out of games as he works his way back from offseason hip surgery.