EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants will need to keep their faint playoff hopes alive without Odell Beckham Jr. for the second straight week.
Coach Pat Shurmur said Friday the NFL’s highest-paid receiver will be sidelined again with a quad injury when the Giants (5-8) play the Tennessee Titans (7-6) Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Shurmur said Beckham’s status will remain day to day. He practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and missed the last two days, getting further testing on his injury on Thursday.
“No setback. He can’t go,” Shurmur said of Beckham, who is second on the team with 77 catches for a team-high 1,052 yards and six touchdowns.
Beckham wasn’t available for comment in the locker room after practice on Friday.
Beckham was hurt on the final play of the Giants’ loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia on Nov. 25. He played against Chicago the following week but missed last weekend’s game against Washington.
The Giants, who need to win their final three games and get a lot of help to make the playoffs, didn’t need Beckham in a 40-16 win over Washington. Eli Manning spread the ball around to eight receivers in throwing for 197 yards. Sterling Shepard, Bennie Fowler and Russell Shepard caught touchdown passes.
“We just have do our job,” Russell Shepard said. “In this league you are going to have injuries, you are going to have key players out and we’re professionals, too. As big a superstar as he is, as good a receiver as he is, we’re professionals. We’ve been doing this. I am confident in this group.”
With Beckham out, defenses tend take a different approach to the Giants since they don’t have to double-team Beckham.
Sterling Shepard said his role changes, too. Instead of being mostly a slot receiver, he will line up on the outside more.
“I’ll move around a little, too,” he said. “It’s a little more on my plate, but I am up for the challenge. I love it.”
Fowler, who is in his fourth year in the league, started for Beckham last weekend. His approach to playing more is just to take it one play at a time.
“I don’t think anyone can do what Odell does,” Fowler said. “I am not going to try to do anything he does. He is his own unique player and I am my own unique player. It’s all good. I am going to do what I do.”
Corey Coleman, who was signed as a free agent in October, was another backup who almost scored last weekend. He caught a 30-yard pass and was stopped at the Washington 3, setting up an Aldrick Rosas field goal.
“You can learn from different experiences,” Coleman said of the receivers, “and Odell does a wonderful job of making sure we all are prepared.”
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