The New York Giants’ offensive line has seen a plethora of changes this season, some of them facilitated by poor play and others by injury.
That began in Week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys when center Jon Halapio went down with what was later revealed to be a broken leg and fractured ankle. The injury, obviously, ended his season.
But it wasn’t out of sight, out of mind for Halapio or his Giants teammates. Rather, after the extent of his injury was revealed, it became quite the opposite.
Having suffered an eerily similar injury in 2017, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. made it his personal mission to lend his knowledge and experience to Halapio in an effort to keep him motivated and encouraged during the rough road back.
“I always tell him I want to see how you are doing, because I went through the same thing and it sucked,” Beckham told the New York Post.
“I couldn’t walk for two months and I felt his pain. When I found out what injury he had, I was trying to give him any kind of drill that I used. Tell him when you’re going to feel certain movements and certain things, just trying to give him any tips that I can to help him get back as fast as possible.”
Halapio has been nothing short of appreciative of Beckham’s support and advice.
“He gives me pointers and stuff, telling me to keep my head up, mentally first, make sure I’m right spiritually and mentally,” Halapio said. “The biggest advice he told me was to take my time. Make sure I don’t rush. There is no rush. I got a lot of time. Just stay mentally in tune with yourself. It’s easy to start to doubt yourself and doubt things around you, be negative. I’ve got a good support system. My wife is doing a good job of taking care of me.”
The good news for Halapio is that his recovery won’t likely take as long as Beckham’s, not because the injuries aren’t similar, but because they each have very different jobs on the field.
“I don’t have to run a 4.3 or 4.2 like he runs,” Halapio said. “That’s why it took him that long, because he has to get back up to that speed, whereas me, I just got to get my strength back and agility things like that. He’s just been giving me pointers, trying to fire muscles, things like that, things that he struggled with.”
Whether or not Halapio returns to the Giants in 2019 remains to be seen, but even if he is headed out of town, Beckham wants to see him do so healthy, confident and motivated.