EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- When you put up the kinds of numbers Odell Beckham Jr. has during his first two seasons, you can make people forget a lot of things. Like, how you missed huge chunks of offseason prep time for both of those seasons due to hamstring injuries.
Beckham was injured around this time each of the past two years. Hamstring injuries in 2014 cost him much of the New York Giants' offseason program, all of training camp and the first four games of his rookie season. Yet, he still managed to catch catch 91 passes for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Last year, a hamstring injury in organized team activities cost Beckham the entire June minicamp. But he was fine in training camp and ended up catching 96 passes for 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns to make the Pro Bowl again.
This year? Well, knock on wood or throw salt over your shoulder if that's your thing, but as of now, Beckham is healthy and working with the team in OTA drills. And as great as he has been with limited offseason practice time his first two seasons, imagine what could happen if he has a full offseason of practice.
"It's just good to have him in that third season and healthy and going to all of the OTAs and being able to move him around in different spots," Giants quarterback Eli Manning said Monday. "You kind of have a controlled set of plays, just because you don't want to overload him and you want to make sure that what he does, he does it well, and then you can expand him in that and put him in different spots with matchups.
"I think now he can handle all of that. We put him in different routes and make sure he's doing them correctly. I think there's an understanding of the offense, how things are supposed to go and the timing of things, and I think that third year, he should start really picking up on that."
The notion that the Giants have been somehow limiting Beckham's role in their offense the first two years while he acclimated himself to the league is mind-boggling. In the 15 games Beckham played last year, he was the target of 27 percent of Manning's passes and the recipient of 26 percent of his completions. Only five players in the league had more targets per game than Beckham's 10.5.
But Giants coach Ben McAdoo, who was the team's offensive coordinator the past two years, wants to be able to move Beckham around the formation as much as possible. And Manning's comment indicates they've held back a bit on that the first two years and that they expect to expand the number of roles Beckham can play in the offense in Year 3. If that's the case, and if he stays healthy and it works, then it's entirely possible that Beckham's 2016 numbers could make his 2014 and 2015 numbers look pedestrian in comparison.
Fun to imagine, for sure.