NFL notes: Giants star Odell Beckham Jr. practices on limited basis Thursday

Odell Beckham Jr. is getting closer to returning to the New York Giants’ lineup. The three-time Pro Bowl receiver, who missed the season opener in Dallas, practiced on a limited basis Thursday for the first time since spraining his left ankle more than three weeks ago.

Beckham actually took two steps in his recovery. He took part in some individualized drills and followed that by running routes at “not high speed” and taking some mental reps at the end of practice in preparation for Monday night’s home opener against the Detroit Lions.

The 24-year-old catalyst of the Giants’ offense said there are still some movements that irk his ankle.

“Day by day it is getting better so we are going in the right direction,” said Beckham, who said the recovery time for his type of ankle injury can last two months. That would indicate a high ankle sprain.


Beckham had not practiced since spraining his ankle in a preseason game on Aug. 21. He started stretching with his teammates during warmups last week.

For the past three weeks he has been showing up for treatment at the team headquarters at 7 a.m. and later going home for an additional 5-to-6 hours of treatment.

“It’s boring,” he said. “It’s not fun. Nobody wants to do that. I definitely didn’t want to work all offseason and everything and then go to Dallas and sit there and watch.”

Beckham would not speculate on whether he would be able to play this week. He admitted he is looking forward to playing in prime time, if the ankle is ready.

“It’s a matter of getting to the point where you know you are confident in it (the ankle) and it is confident in itself,” he said. “Then you can go and not worry about it. Until that moment comes we are being smart with it.”

The Giants’ offense was limited to 233 yards in the loss to the Cowboys on Sunday night.

“We had a bad game,” said Beckham, who warmed up before the game and felt his ankle was not ready even though he wanted to play. “They lost the first game last year. It’s one game. I am for sure not panicking.”

In other NFL news:

-- Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr has a hamstring injury that has kept him out of practice, jeopardizing his availability for the upcoming game at Pittsburgh. Barr watched the team’s workout on the field on Thursday, sidelined for a second straight day. The Vikings play the Steelers on Sunday. Barr played every defensive snap in the season opener against New Orleans on Monday. The fourth-year player has started 20 straight games for the Vikings, who would likely either turn to veteran Emmanuel Lamur or rookie Eric Wilson at the strong side position if Barr can’t play.

-- New York Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin has a herniated disk in his back that likely will need season-ending surgery. Coach Todd Bowles confirmed the nature of the injury Thursday, saying that Mauldin’s back “took a turn for the worse.” Doctors have advised Mauldin to have surgery, but the linebacker will get a second opinion before making a decision.

-- Baltimore Ravens placed running back Danny Woodhead on injured reserve with a hamstring injury Thursday. Woodhead injured his left leg in the first quarter of the season opener and did not return. He missed part of training camp with a hamstring injury to the same leg. Coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday that the 32-year-old would miss “multiple weeks” and would be a candidate to return later in the season. He would be eligible to play again as soon as Week 11.