<
>

Odell Beckham Jr. returns to Giants' practice with a bang

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It took all of two plays during live 11-on-11 drills for New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to make his presence felt.

Beckham participated in Friday's walk-through-type practice after missing three days because of a lower left leg injury. But Saturday was the first time he went against defenders since hurting his leg in a collision with cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

The injury didn't slow Beckham down a step. He's still got it.

The Pro Bowl receiver beat Jenkins for a 70-yard touchdown reception on a perfectly placed pass from quarterback Eli Manning during Saturday's practice. The touchdown came on a deep post where Beckham used a quick deke and then outpaced Jenkins by a full five yards.

"He looked good to me," coach Ben McAdoo said of his star receiver's health.

Beckham was slightly limited during the practice. He skipped one-on-one drills with the cornerbacks. But McAdoo insisted he did what was planned.

When the Giants began seven-on-seven drills, they had their ideal receiving trio on the field. Beckham lined up opposite rookie wide receiver Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz. It was one of the few times they've been together this summer, and it provided hope that together they can do big things this season. Cruz has been brought along slowly this summer after missing most of the past two years because of knee and calf injuries. He had a quiet practice.

Ups and downs of Apple: Rookie cornerback Eli Apple did well throughout Saturday's practice in coverage. He blanketed Cruz and wide receiver Dwayne Harris (multiple times) during one-on-one drills. His coverage was strong during team drills.

Except ...

Apple was flagged twice for being too aggressive with his hands. This has been the knock on the Giants' first-round pick.

Maybe defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has to make Apple spend an entire practice playing with a closed fist. Spagnuolo mentioned that as a possibility earlier in the week if Apple’s grabbiness became a problem.

Bobby Hart at right tackle: For the first time this summer during live team drills, second-year offensive lineman Bobby Hart snuck in some snaps with the first team at right tackle in place of Marshall Newhouse. Hart went up against Jason Pierre-Paul for several plays, with mixed results.

McAdoo said earlier in the week that Hart had an opportunity to win the starting right tackle job.

But Newhouse and guard John Jerry, the right side of the Giants' offensive line, had a strong practice Saturday. They're still the heavy favorites to start.

Hall's first up: Newly signed cornerback Leon Hall isn't being eased into the mix. He spent almost all of Saturday's practice as the slot cornerback with the first-team defense.

Trevin Wade, who had been the first-team slot corner for a majority of the first week of camp, spent more time on the outside than he had during any other practice.

Star of the day: Darius Powe: The physically imposing receiver (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) stood out on a day when the defensive backs won a majority of the battles. Powe caught several passes, including one where he was popped deep down the right sideline by a pair of defenders. Following a slow start to camp, the undrafted rookie is working his way into the wide receiver mix. He’s a definite practice squad possibility.

"He is a big body and he had a nice day," McAdoo said.

WRs vs. CBs: McAdoo had the cornerbacks matched against the wide receivers (best-of-five) late in practice. Loser carried the others' pads.

1. Jenkins forced an incompletion vs. Shepard

2. Apple forced an incompletion vs. Roger Lewis Jr.

3. Donte Deayon knocked the ball loose from Powe in the end zone

4. WR Tavarres King beat Leon McFadden for a score

5. Trevin Wade forced an incompletion vs. K.J. Maye

Final tally: Defense 4, Offense 1

Other observations: Several offensive linemen played somewhere other than their primary position Saturday. Adam Gettis was back at guard instead of center, Emmett Cleary was at tackle rather than guard, Brett Jones and Dillon Farrell played center instead of guard. ... Rookie running back Paul Perkins missed a blitz pickup and had a dropped pass on the same play after quarterback Logan Thomas scrambled out of the pocket. He's still a rookie. Careful with the hype. ... TE Matt LaCosse took a ton of first-team reps alongside Will Tye.