The list of Giants receivers hobbled by injuries was long and prominent last year: Odell Beckham Jr. missed 12 games due to injury, Sterling Shepard was limited to 11 games, Dwayne Harris missed a chunk of the year as did former receiver Brandon Marshall. It appears though that the Giants have turned a corner in this regard and should be at full strength come Week 1.
Beckham didn’t play in the preseason opener last week, a 20-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns, but he did dress and was on the sidelines. He has been active in training camp and staying after to get in extra reps with Manning.
“Yeah, we are getting there. We still have some work to do, but I thought he has done a good job the last few weeks getting his feel back,” Manning said on Wednesday. “Knowing how to work guys in man, give a little extra move and trusting his body and everything. I think he’s getting back into his own and getting comfortable on the field again.”
The Giants have been in Michigan this week for a series of joint practices with the Detroit Lions. The two teams play each other on Friday night.
The good news continues for the Giants and their passing game. While rookie tight end Evan Engram wasn’t bitten by the injury bug last year, having played in 15 games, he did have some downs in a year full of many positives. It is something that the second-year tight end has looked to address, having spent the offseason working out with quarterback Davis Webb at a local training facility, TEST Football Academy.
Drops haunted Engram throughout the year, something the Giants are hoping they can cut back on in his second season in the NFL. The former Ole Miss tight end, a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, had 64 catches for 722 yards and six touchdowns.
If the drops can be curtailed, then it is a huge development for the entire offense.
“Drops obviously bother you, but I always think that the guys are trying to catch it. I think part of it is just being tired. The stress of a long season, and everything going through it,” Manning said.
“I think it’s the focus can kind of disappear a little bit. So, I think he’s talented, he’s working on it. I think it’s good you work on it and have more that you want to improve on. But, don’t make it a mental block or something you’re thinking about, or getting anxious about or worried about. I try not to bring it up too much, and just say, ‘Hey, just keep getting open, doing the right routes, doing the right things, we’ll keep throwing to you, and you’ll make those plays’.”