EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Dalvin Tomlinson probably won't have to wait long to make his first start for the New York Giants.
With fellow defensive tackle Jay Bromley suddenly nursing an injured left knee, the second-round draft pick out of Alabama likely will line up beside Damon Harrison in the season opener in Dallas on Sept. 9.
Tomlinson and Bromley were fighting for the starting spot when Bromley was hurt in Saturday night's preseason win over the Jets.
Bromley did not practice Monday. He wore a knee brace while talking to reporters after the workout. While he hopes to play against the Cowboys, he doesn't know whether he will be ready.
That leaves the bullish Tomlinson to take his place, starting with Thursday night's preseason finale against the Patriots in Massachusetts.
''I feel like I have come a long way because I am more confident in the playbook,'' Tomlinson said after practice. ''That was probably the biggest change for me, the playbook. I am a lot more comfortable with it now. I can go and play at a faster pace.''
Tomlinson has gotten a lot of snaps next to Harrison in training camp, and that has helped. The Pro Bowl veteran has been teaching the rookie on the field and showing him all the things he needs to know in an NFL game.
Come game day, Tomlinson expects to have some butterflies. He gets them every game.
''I feel like I am ready. I am up to the challenge,'' said Tomlinson, who has had nine tackles in three preseason games. ''They picked me to come here and play as a dominant defensive lineman and that's what I plan to do.''
Bromley tweaked his medial collateral ligament when his leg got rolled up in the first half. He said he was a little sore Monday, but it was ''nothing too crazy. I'm just trying to get it right.''
Bromley said Tomlinson has improved since the start of camp.
''He has definitely earned his opportunity,'' Bromley said. ''If unfortunately I am not able to go that will be good for him. I feel comfortable with him there, too.''
Coach Ben McAdoo said Tomlinson definitely benefited playing at Alabama.
''He's come in, he's learned the system very well,'' McAdoo said. ''He's good with his hands, he plays with leverage, he destroys blocks. We feel he'll be ready to play Week 1.''
NOTES: WR Brandon Marshall (shoulder) returned to practice on a limited basis for the first time since being hurt against Cleveland last Monday. ... McAdoo said he is ''absolutely'' hopeful WR Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) will be ready for the season opener. The 24-year-old is making progress and is listed as day to day, the coach said. ... Harrison was given an extra day to rest. ... The Giants said upon further evaluation, RB Shaun Draughn did not suffer a concussion Saturday. He practiced Monday. .. LB Mark Herzlich, one of four players remaining from the Giants who won the 2012 Super Bowl, did not practice. He has missed most of the last two weeks with a stinger and his chances of making the 53-man roster could be in jeopardy. ... The NFL suspended backup DE Owa Odighizuwa without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
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