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Giants Training Camp Practice Report Day 4 Takeaways and Observations

The Giants scale things back on purpose. Plus some encouraging news about guard Shane Lemieux's knee injury, and observations from the 90-minute practice session.

It’s only the third day of training camp, but head coach Joe Judge, whose Giants team is in the midst of the CBA-mandated acclimation period, decided to scale things back rather than ramp them up.

His reasoning?

“We are going to try to mirror this as much as we can in terms of the pattern we have in the regular season,” he said. “We’ve been two hours on the field the first two days. (Friday), we’ll be about an hour and a half. That generally patterns what we do in the regular season.

“After this, we’ll have a day (Saturday) where we’ll actually tone it down a little bit and focus more on teamwork. We’re going to be more at a lesser pace. We call it the “Pro Bowl Jog,” which is what the league officially calls it, but it’s more of a spirited jog through, if you would.”

The Giants Saturday jog through is in the early evening; the players will then have the day off Sunday before returning to the field Monday for the last of the acclimation period. Then on Tuesday, it’s time for full pads—and live contact—to begin.

Shane Lemieux Injury Update

Exhale, Giants fans.

Projected starting left guard Shane Lemieux, who was carted off the field during Thursday’s practice with a knee injury, won’t have his season end, and he probably won’t be sidelined too long.

Head coach Joe Judge confirmed the reports from this morning about Lemieux’s status, adding that more would be known about the second-year lineman’s injury in the next 24-48 hours. But until then, Lemieux would be a spectator for Friday and Saturday’s practices, possibly even Monday’s, which, as noted above, is the last day of the acclimation period before the pads go on.

“Shane, he’s kind of like a wild animal. He’d cut his leg off to get through a bear trap if he had to, so him not being out there is kind of driving him nuts,” Judge said.

Lemieux, who was replaced by Kenny Wiggins in the lineup, will have to cool his jets, though.

“He’s already been in my office today talking about the fastest way to get back and, look, my message to him is always when the trainers say you’re 100 percent healthy to go on the field, we’ll put you on the field,” Judge said.

Want extra good news about Lemieux? He was out on the field watching the drills, at one point even going over to where his fellow offensive linemen were working before heading back to the side to do his conditioning work with trainers.

If Lemieux’s knee injury were anything serious, he wouldn’t have come outside to stand around on the grass field for the 90-minute practice; the team would have kept him inside for treatment.

Meanwhile, right tackle Matt Peart, who is on the PUP list with a strained back, continues to make progress.

Brace Yourselves

People always ask about what’s different under Judge. Even though it’s been around since last year, one thing that finally came to light is that the Giants offensive and defensive linemen are required to wear knee braces in practices and games.

“The message to our team is, look, as much as they hate wearing knee braces -- and trust me, they do -- they hate having an injury and being out for the season even more if something happens,” Judge explained.

“So, until we can practice at the right tempo together and everyone is staying on their feet, we’re going to keep the knee braces on. And anytime we go full pads, live contact, we’ll always have the knee braces on in practice.”

Giants Hitting the Road Early

The New York Giants are planning to hold their Saturday evening practice at Newark's newly-renovated 4,500-seat Eddie Moraes Stadium – formerly Ironbound Stadium – which is reopening after being closed by the federal government in 1987.

The venue, located in Newark’s Ironbound section, is part of a big picture strategy in which head coach Joe Judge has emphasized having the team represent the area, not just in seeking to establish connections within communities within the tri-state area.

The practice, which is closed to the general public, will be attended by Newark area high school football teams, local Pop Warner teams, and other organized youth leagues as part of an NFL initiative called “Back Together Saturday.”

Approximately 2,000 youth are expected to attend the planned 90-minute walkthrough practice, after which Judge and select players will address the attendees.

Quote of the Day

“(Head coach) Joe Judge always likes to say, ‘In the Mississippi heat it takes a lot of hands to grease the pig.’” – DB Julian Love on the bonding and camaraderie of the Giants defensive backfield.

Attendance Update

WR Kadarius Toney (reserve/COVID-19), Lemieux (knee), OLB Lorenzo Carter (unknown), TE Levine Toilolo (unknown), receiver Derrick Dillon (unknown), and DE Elerson Smith (unknown) were among those who didn’t practice Friday. OL Chad Slade (personal) was excused from practice. ILB Blake Martinez (reserve/COVID-19) remains in self-isolation.

Receiver Austin Mack came up lame after making a catch, grabbing the back of his leg. He was later spotted with an icepack to his left hamstring.

Practice Observations

Some nice receptions in the individual drill period, starting with Kenny Golladay adjusting well to a ball thrown down around his knees and then followed by receiver C.J. Board, who did his best Odell Beckham Jr impersonation with a leaping one-handed grab.

I mentioned yesterday how Carter Coughlin seemed to take charge at inside linebacker. Today he got a few snaps on the edge, and he was just as confident rushing the passer as he was manning the box.

It looks like Ryan Santoso might handle most of the kicking duties this summer to save some wear and tear on Graham Gano’s leg. Santoso worked on kickoffs on a side field and appeared to boot all of them into the end zone. I didn’t see him miss any field goal attempts.

Left tackle Andrew Thomas had a very strong practice Friday. I don’t think I saw a bad rep from the second-year man, who kept Azeez Ojulari, Carter Coughlin, and Ifeadi Odenigbo out of the backfield.

From what I could see through the binoculars, Thomas is a lot quicker getting into blocks, and in his pass blocking snaps—there’s no wasted motion. He’s also quicker with getting his hands up, which at times was a problem for him last year.

Defensive lineman R.J. McIntosh, fighting for a roster spot, had a pass breakup to remind everyone he’s still around.

The offense wasn’t quite as crisp as it was Thursday. In the first 11-on-11 series in the red zone, which were coming toward the patio where the media stood, the offense completed one pass, that to Sterling Shepard, who outdueled Adoree Jackson on that play.

Rookie Rodarius Williams is a fun player to watch out there. Williams picked off a pass thrown by Clayton Thorson intended for David Sills V and exploded in joy.  

We had our first scuffle of camp when Kenny Golladay took exception to linebacker T.J. Brunson’s defense of him. Golladay got in Brunson’s face and was soon joined by Nick Gates. The situation quickly de-escalated, but after, Golladay chalked it up to the competitive nature of the practice, saying there was no ill will toward Brunson.

Receiver John Ross, who’s trying to stick around, helped his cause by sliding to catch a touchdown pass from quarterback Mike Glennon. Ross is a speedy receiver who, if he can carve out a role on special teams, could help the offense.

Logan Ryan picked off a Daniel Jones pass intended for Evan Engram, the ball sailing over Engram’s head.

David Sills V and C.J. Board each had touchdown catches, as the offense, after a shaky first series in 11-on-11, looked a little better toward the end of practice. 

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