If the season began today, Odell Beckham wouldn't quite be ready to play -- but he's getting closer.
Lions safety Darius Slaywas showering Beckham with praise after facing him in joint practice Wednesday. Beckham spoke to reporters Thursday and echoed Slay's words, with added importance since they're coming from the man himself.
"It was cool to be able to go against somebody else," Beckham said of the live reps he completed against the Lions. "We've been going against our guys every day and they know everything that you're doing. It's hard to beat somebody who sees you every day. So, to be able to go against other guys, compete, practice hard and practice safe.
"It was a lot of fun to be back out there. I've been going against [Darius] Slay since Mississippi State. So, every time I see him it's always good energy."
Good energy is one thing; completing practices without injury or aggravation is another. For Beckham, he did both and did it well. It falls in line with what sounds like is a path to a Week 1 start, which Beckham hasn't seen since 2016.
A healthy 2018 would also go a long way toward finally solving the prolonged contract issue between Beckham and the Giants. It sounds as though Beckham is rightfully more concerned with his health than his wallet, for now.
"I definitely think it's gonna work itself out," Beckham said of the contract issue. "You know, when is it gonna happen, you don't know. That's the business side that is new, is still new to me in a sense, it's the first time I've ever had to deal with this or go through any of those things.
"I believe that it's gonna work itself out. It's a matter of time, just like anything in life, it's timing."
The path to playing in September continues with the gradual build to full speed and full availability. It's not a pretty one in terms of game reps and appetite-whetting highlights, but a necessary one. If all things go according to plan, Giants fans will be more than happy with how August played out.