Giants open three day mini-camp with injuries and absences

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Jun 13, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo speaks during press conference at mini camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants welcomed the arrivals wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and defensive end Olivier Vernon as the team began their first day of a mandatory three-day mini-camp.

Big Blue was happy to have their two high profile no-shows from the team’s organized team activities (OTAs) back with the team. This didn’t mean that every Giant was on the practice field ready to go.


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Defensive end Owa Odighizuwa was a no-show for the first day of mini-camp, adding to speculation surrounding his desire (or lack thereof) to play football.

Odighizuwa sent out a series of tweets early in the offseason that questioned his desire to continue his career before deleting them.

Head coach Ben McAdoo said Odighizuwa had been excused when asked about his absence.

“Yes, he’s excused for personal reasons,” McAdoo said. He was asked if Odighizuwa could be placed on the non-football injury list.

“He’s excused for personal reasons,” McAdoo repeated.

Offensive lineman Justin Pugh was also absent from Tuesday’s practice. Pugh had been present for all of the Giants’ OTAs. McAdoo was very tight-lipped about why Pugh was being held out, offering no specific details other than say Pugh was out.

“Justin is out right now. He’s limited,” McAdoo said.

Tight end Rhett Ellison is dealing with a calf injury that has bothered him since before OTAs started. He was limited Tuesday.

“Yes, he’s pushing. He’s chomping at the bit to get back,” McAdoo said. “I don’t anticipate him going full go here in this mini-camp. I anticipate him for training camp.”

Quarterback Geno Smith said he was 100 percent recovered from a torn ACL. The Giants are being cautious with him.

“He’s progressing,” McAdoo said. “We braced him up today. We put him out there, we had him do 7-on-7s with the half-line rush just to get some work against the rush so if he has to move and has to reset in the pocket he has some experience doing that before we come back in training camp. It’ll boost his confidence and I thought he had a good first day of it.”

Cornerback Eli Apple and safety Darian Thompson were also held out Tuesday. Apple has a hamstring injury sustained in OTAs and Thompson is still recovering from the foot injury that caused him to miss most of the 2016 season.

McAdoo was cryptic about their injuries as well.

“They were both excused for an illness,” he said, stressing that it was an illness (as opposed to an injury) that was keeping Apple out.

Linebacker J.T. Thomas is recovering from a torn ACL. McAdoo said Thomas is “limited”. The doctors haven’t given McAdoo the okay to give him a full workload, just like Smith.

“He’s limited. When he’s clear, they’ll let me know,” McAdoo said.

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