Odell Beckham Jr. walked out of the locker room after the final practice of season, carrying a box of personal items and feeling a sense of frustration.
While Beckham returned from a career-threatening ankle injury, the 2018 season didn’t end as he would have liked.
The New York Giants missed the playoff for the second straight year and fourth time in his five-year career, and the NFL’s highest-paid receiver was sidelined for the final four games of the season with a nagging quad injury.
Coach Pat Shurmur announced Friday that Beckham will miss Sunday’s game against Dallas with a minor injury they said would not heal.
“This is not the way I wanted to end it,” Beckham said. “On a positive note this leaves a huge chip on my shoulder for next year and just the things that I know I am capable of doing. It’s just time to do them and put my best foot forward next year. Next year will be the best year I have had of my entire career. That’s the only positive I can take from all of it.”
Beckham got hurt when he was leg-whipped by Philadelphia linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill on the final play of the Eagles 25-22 win on Nov. 25.
The 26-year-old Beckham played the following week against Chicago and accounted for two touchdowns. He aggravated the injury days before New York (5-10) played Washington.
Beckham, who missed most of last season with a broken left ankle, finished with 77 catches for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns. He also threw touchdown passes of 57 and 49 yards on trick plays for a 158.3 quarterback rating.
The 12th pick in the 2014 draft, Beckham has one season in which he did not miss a game. That was in 2016, the one year in the last seven the Giants made the playoffs.
Beckham said his personal goals are to win a title and surpass the receiving records set by Jerry Rice in a 20-year career (1985-2004) with San Francisco and Oakland. The Hall of Famer played in 303 games with 1,549 receptions for 22,895 yards and 197 touchdowns. Beckham has 390 catches for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns in 59 games.
Beckham could have a new quarterback next season. Eli Manning turns 38 next month and there has been speculation about the future for the 15-year veteran.
Manning’s lack of mobility has led to mixed success this season playing behind an offensive line that has allowed 46 sacks. Beckham said he would like to see Manning go out a winner.
“I love Eli,” he said. “He is the first quarterback I ever had in the league. I threw with him at the Manning camp in high school. There are a lot of things you want in life. You can’t always get what you want. … But it has nothing to do with me. It’s not my call. I’m just a receiver. That’s above my pay grade.”
Beckham said the Giants need to finish games next season to turn things around.
“We’ve just got to put the pieces together,” Beckham said. “We were so close this year in so many different ways in so many different games. Finding ways to pull it all together. It’s been that way for a little minute. All the little things.”
NOTES: Besides Beckham, the Giants said DL Mario Edwards (calf), TE Rhett Ellison (concussion), LB Alec Ogletree (concussion) and WR Russell Shepard (ankle) will not play Sunday. No one was listed as doubtful or questionable. … Shurmur watched television Thursday night to see his son, Kyle, play quarterback for Vanderbilt in a 45-38 loss to Baylor in the Texas Bowl.
Source: The Associated Press