EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin has made it clear he's frustrated by the right hamstring injury that's keeping first-round pick Odell Beckham Jr. off the practice field. On Tuesday, Beckham met with Coughlin to make sure the coach knew he was frustrated about it as well.
"He wants me out there as bad as I want to be out there," said Beckham, who missed his sixth camp practice Tuesday. "I'm new and we don't know each other that well yet, and your first impression is one that lasts forever. So you don't ever want to leave a bad impression, but at the same time [I'm] trying to reassure him how hard it is for me not to be practicing.
"I'm a high-energy guy. I always loved practicing at LSU and I love practicing now. So for me, it's never been about days off, just about getting better each and every day."
After missing minicamp, the rookie wide receiver again injured the hamstring in the first training camp practice this past Tuesday when one of his spikes got caught up in the shoelaces of cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie's cleats. He hasn't practiced since, and tests Monday revealed nothing more serious than the team or player had suspected.
"Just heavy inflammation and blood in the hamstring," Beckham said. "So the trainers are just taking it day by day to see what happens. It's up to them right now and for however long it's going to be."
The Giants drafted Beckham with the 12th overall pick in May with the hope that his speed would be an immediate boost to the offense and the return game. Their intention is to use him at the split end position and ask him to beat press coverage and stretch the field for Eli Manning and the offense.
The Giants have used a variety of wide receivers during camp, from Jerrel Jernigan to Marcus Harris to Preston Parker and many others. The ideal three-receiver lineup would be to have Rueben Randle in the flanker role and Victor Cruz as the slot receiver, but that works better if they have a speed guy at the other outside spot. And without Beckham, they do not.
Beckham said he would continue to be on the field during practice, fielding punts and catching balls off the JUGS machine. During team drills, he has been standing near coaches to learn as much as he can about the Giants' new offense. Otherwise, he's working with team trainers on stretching and pool workouts.
He said he's had hamstring injuries before and knows they can be tricky.
"You can't really guess how a hamstring's going to act," Beckham said. "It's one of those things that takes time. You've just got to be patient with it and not let it get you frustrated."
Beckham will miss the Giants' preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday in Canton, but he said he "definitely" expects to be able to play in more than one of the team's remaining four preseason games.
The Giants open the 2014 regular season on "Monday Night Football" on Sept. 8 against the host Detroit Lions.