OBJ enters locker room before halftime in big loss
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. walked off the field and into the locker room before the final play of the first half in a 34-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night. He did not return to the sideline until after the opening kickoff of the second half.
The Giants and Beckham said he needed an IV for the second time in three games.
“I was cramping, so I was trying to get an IV,” Beckham said. “The halftime break is really only five or 10 minutes. If I can use a couple of extra seconds to go and get an IV and come out, that’s really all it was.”
There were two seconds left in the first half and the Giants were trailing 24-6 when Beckham strutted into the tunnel. He didn’t appear happy. The Giants ran one final play before halftime with their offense on the field.
Beckham was nowhere to be seen when Sterling Shepard caught a desperation 20-yard pass on the final play of the half. Two weeks ago, Beckham left early in a loss to the New Orleans Saints to get an IV. He returned in that game for the start of the second half.
“He had an IV. Just dehydrated again,” coach Pat Shurmur said.
When asked if he could’ve stayed on the field, Shurmur only added: “He went back to the locker room.”
It all seems to be spiraling out of control once again for Beckham and the Giants, who at 1-5 own the worst record in the NFL.
ESPN confirmed a Fox Sports report Thursday that the team fined Beckham for comments he made in an interview last week with ESPN’s Josina Anderson and Lil Wayne.
Shurmur wasn’t happy that his star receiver spoke candidly about being unsure if the Giants’ offensive problems were related to quarterback Eli Manning and that he didn’t feel as if the Giants were using him in a way that maximized his abilities.
Beckham later said that he didn’t regret his comments, saying that he felt his words helped the Giants “come together as a team” in last week’s loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Beckham had two catches on four targets for 12 yards in the first half Thursday night, as the Giants’ offense was a discombobulated mess. Quarterback Eli Manning was 10-of-23 passing for 163 yards with an interception as the Giants managed only two field goals in the opening 30 minutes.
Manning was just 1-of-10 on passes of three or more air yards in the first half, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He had at least five passes that came close to being intercepted before halftime.
Odell Beckham Jr. continues to express his frustrations on the sidelines as he head-butts a cooling fan.
The Giants were clearly frustrated, from their quarterback to their receivers to their coach. Manning at one point showed a rare display of emotion when he yelled at running back Wayne Gallman after a miscommunication between the two on a second-quarter play.
Shurmur was even caught on camera in the second quarter appearing to say, “Throw the ball!” after Manning dumped a second-and-long pass to Cody Latimer in the flat. Manning then dumped a third-and-long pass well short of the first-down marker before the Giants punted.
The frustration spilled into the second half, when Beckham banged his head and threw light jabs at a fan on the sideline. He needed to be calmed by rookie running back Saquon Barkley, who had just run for a 50-yard touchdown to make it 31-13 in favor of the Eagles.
“I was trying to get myself going,” Beckham said. “I feel like some of those plays right after I was getting myself going was some of my best stuff. I was trying to get myself fired up. I did that, and it helped me. There was a lot of things that had me fired up. Like I said, it helped me bring out the energy — I don’t know a way around it but to get myself going.”
Barkley, who finished with 130 yards rushing and 99 receiving, was the Giants’ lone positive from the disappointing effort. He had two 40-plus-yard runs and 229 total yards. The Giants had only two 40-plus-yard runs from 2015 to ’17.
Beckham had six catches on 10 targets for 44 yards.
There was optimism with the Giants’ offense heading into Thursday night’s game. It had scored 30 points for the first time since the final week of the 2015 season Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.
Beckham said earlier in the week this was their opportunity to “reshape the season.” No NFC East team is above .500.
But instead of reshaping it into a positive, it only got worse for the Giants.