When the New York Giants begin their mandatory three-day mini-camp Tuesday, tight end Rhett Ellison may not be a full participant.
Ellison, who came to the Giants as a free agent from the Minnesota Vikings, missed most of the team’s final day of organized team activities (OTAs) on Friday, He’s been limited since late May with what head coach Ben McAdoo calls “soreness”.
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“Rhett is a little sore, but other than that we made it through okay,” McAdoo said. “He’s just sore.”
Soreness is a common ailment during OTAs. Most players who sit out are dealing with some nagging aches and pains. Ellison initially said he was dealing a calf issue and the team was holding him out as a precaution.
“Just a sore calf. Right now, we are just being smart with it,” Ellison said. “We have been running on it and we are just being real smart this time of the year.”
Ellison also said the injury occurred before the start of OTAs.
The injury is not expected to be a long-term problem. Ellison came out late to Friday’s practice and worked inside with a trainer. He came out later and walked through some run fits with the offense. Players who are out don’t usually participate in the drill.
Ellison provides the Giants with a blocking tight end, something the offense was missing in 2016 after Will Johnson was lost for the season. He can help the offensive tackles on the edges and occasionally line up in the backfield and lead block for Paul Perkins and the rest of the Giants’ running backs.
Rookie Evan Engram is ahead of the curve in terms of adjusting to the National Football League. Second-year player Jerell Adams is still developing and Will Tye, last year’s starter, and Matt LaCosse are still on the roster.
Ellison’s versatility and blocking are of the utmost importance so taking him slow is the right call.