Giants defensive tackle Damon 'Snacks' Harrison off PUP list
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Damon ''Snacks'' Harrison is still working out the intricacies of making the trip to the New York Giants' training facilities at the Meadowlands instead of the much-shorter drive to the Jets' headquarters in Florham Park.
The teams' fields are located 30 minutes apart in northern New Jersey, and it can be daunting figuring out which roads make the drive quicker.
Being on the field playing football is a lot more fun, and that's where Harrison was on Tuesday as the Giants donned shoulder pads for the first time since opening training camp last week.
Harrison, who signed a $46 million free-agent contract in the offseason, missed the first three practices after being put on the physically-unable-to-perform list with a swollen knee. The extra rest worked, and the big run-stuffer was taken off PUP Tuesday.
The hard part was limiting himself.
''We had to yank him out of some drills, he was chomping at the bit to get going,'' coach Ben McAdoo said. ''Jumped right back in there, seems to be in pretty good shape.''
Harrison isn't concerned about his left knee. He had surgery in 2010 to repair a meniscus and he has barely missed any practice in recent years. Getting ready for camp and switching from a grass surface to turf caused the swelling.
It also subjected him to some grief from fellow linemen Johnathan Hankins and Jason Pierre-Paul, who teased him about missing practice and his decision to have a green Italian ice during a break Tuesday.
If there was a positive, Harrison said his knee felt as good as it has in the past two years.
The Giants need a healthy Harrison. They are trying to repair a defense that finished last in the league in defense, including 24th against the run.
Harrison and Hankins can control the middle and that should allow Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon to go after the quarterback.
The adjustment will be learning about the guys playing next to him and communicating with them. The football is football.
''To me, that's the toughest part,'' Harrison said. ''It's not learning the play book, it's not getting used to a new team and new areas, it's fitting in with the guys you have to play with because everybody has different personalities and you have to learn each guy individually, you can't treat the group the same. I have to give those guys credit, they welcomed me with open arms and made it easy.''
The Giants probably will keep an eye on Harrison for the next couple weeks and dial back his workload when necessary.
Harrison seemed to enjoy his first practice with the Giants, even though he felt he was a little too slow. He had no problem with the new defense. It was like the Jets.
''As simple as I can put it, you're never wrong when you knock them back,'' Harrison said. ''You're not reaching when you knock them back, you're not messing up on a play when you knock them back, so as long as I'm knocking them back off the line, it's the same thing.''
One of the happiest people to see Harrison was middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley.
''A guy like Snacks, he can keep those linemen off of you,'' Brinkley said. ''It's a benefit. It's a benefit to be able to run and float. It's like having Christmas every day.''
NOTES: Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. did not practice because his lower leg was sore after being cleated on Sunday. ... McAdoo said LB J.T. Thomas (hamstring) and DT Jay Bromley (ankle) will need more time before coming off PUP. ... Second-year offensive lineman Bobby Hart is going to get a chance to challenge Marshall Newhouse for the RT job, McAdoo said. ... The Giants' practice on Wednesday will be closed to the public.