When Odell Beckham Jr. exited the 2017 season after just four games due to a broken ankle, the already suspect New York Giants offense became a meandering operation stumbling aimlessly through the gridiron jungle.
With OBJ appearing on pace to return fully healthy, the Giants should have their field-tilting game-changer back. Eli Manning, speaking at a football camp at Kean University, said Beckham looked like his old self again during last month's workouts.
"Odell looked healthy," Manning said, via ESPN's Jordan Raanan. "He was running routes full speed, making cuts and seemed to be his old self. So I'm excited about that and that he can go out there and run all the routes.
"So, excited to get him back going once training camp hits up. And getting on the same page, there are always new routes and new tweaks to the offense. But I know he's been working hard and is going to have a big year."
Getting Beckham back fully healthy is the most important piece to boosting Manning's final years with Big Blue. While the additions of Saquon Barkley to the backfield, Nate Solder and Will Hernandez to the offensive line, and the growth of wideout Sterling Shepard and tight end Evan Engram are all important boosters, no player affects defenses the way OBJ can. His return makes everything on the field easier.
The biggest issue Manning sees Beckham needing to get used to when training camp opens later this month is wearing a shirt.
"Yeah, I've seen a couple videos," Manning said of offseason workouts of Beckham, Barkley, Engram and Shepard. "Those guys always work. Appreciate the work. Getting ready for the upcoming season. I know they'll have to make some adjustments. We do practice with our shirts on with the Giants. So they'll have to make an adjustment the first few weeks. It may take some time to get used to that. But besides that I know those guys, it's great that they are together. They are challenging each other. They're getting ready for the upcoming season."
Classic Elisha dad joke.
With all accounts of Beckham's ankle being fully healthy, the main question is whether the superstar wideout plans to fully participate in training camp or whether he might decide to alter his offseason approach with a holdout over his contract desires.