LONDON – Odell Beckham Jr. finished talking to the media and hobbled off the two-foot-high stage. It was clear his hip/abdomen/oblique was still hurting after the New York Giants’ 17-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham Stadium.
Beckham barely made it onto the field for the contest. He had practiced sparingly throughout the week and was experiencing pain on Saturday.
“Yeah, there was a seed of doubt,” Beckham said. “But at the same time, you’re going to do whatever you’re going to need to do to be out there with your team. There’s no better feeling than that. There’s no better feeling than going home on the plane and we’re all going to be laughing, smiling.”
The Giants (4-3) are off to their bye week with a winning record, even if the offense struggled for much of the afternoon.
By Beckham’s standards, five catches for 49 yards is a modest effort. But he made the Giants’ biggest offensive play of the game with a leaping catch on a jump ball on a third-and-3 from the Los Angeles 28-yard line in the fourth quarter.
Beckham still clearly wasn’t himself. He was admittedly in pain, and it became worse as the game progressed.
“He’s one of the toughest kids I know, and I know he’s going to lay it all on the line for his team, for his receivers,” wide receiver Victor Cruz said.
Beckham didn’t participate in the early part of the team’s pregame warmups, instead spending time working with the trainer and chatting with general manager Jerry Reese and coach Ben McAdoo. They were deciding whether he could even play.
“We kind of just came up with a plan,” Beckham said. “We said, well, kind of get in where you fit in. Wherever you can get in, if you need to come out, let us know. But they did give me the opportunity to play, which I’m thankful for. Like I said, we came out with the ‘W.’”
The defense deserves most of the credit. Safety Landon Collins scored a touchdown and set up the other with his second interception of the game.
The Giants’ offense struggled, in part because Beckham didn’t have his usual explosiveness. There wasn’t going to be any 75-yard plays like last week against the Ravens.
“It didn’t feel like I was doing everything. It didn’t feel like I was running as fast. I didn’t feel like I was doing everything, you know, normally, but it was … we did enough,” Beckham said. “We made plays when we needed to make plays.”
Such as the fourth quarter when Beckham made his biggest play of the contest. Even though he wasn’t playing at full speed, he had the trust of his quarterback and coach.
They knew he’d been there when they needed him the most.
“I think it’s more about character, just knowing he wants to be out there,” quarterback Eli Manning said. “He’s going to give it his all and played injured and do whatever he’s got to do to be there for his teammates, for his game and go out there and play well.”
Even coach Ben McAdoo was impressed. His team and his top playmaker scratched its way through a game they needed to win.
“Yeah, he fought through some things [Sunday], as did a lot of other guys,” McAdoo said. “It was a gutsy performance by those players.”
Especially the one who came up with the biggest offensive play of the afternoon for the Giants.