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5 things we learned at Training Camp (8/2)

shepard-8217.jpg's Dan Salomone highlights five takeaways from Wednesday's press conferences:


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Attention turned toward the Giants sideline this afternoon when second-year wide receiver Sterling Shepard hopped off the field in pain after he rolled his ankle. Coach Ben McAdoo said the injury happened when Shepard, who caught eight touchdowns as a rookie second-round draft pick last year, was running a hammer route, put his foot in the ground, and rolled the ankle.

"Sterling, at this point, he looks like he has a rolled ankle," McAdoo said. "A basketball-type ankle, but we'll see how he responds to treatment and go from there.

McAdoo added: "At this point it just looks like he has a sprained ankle."

Rookie offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker was also carted off the practice field. "They're in there taking a look at his foot right now," McAdoo said at the time. Meanwhile, veteran defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was given the day off, and cornerback Valentino Blake (lower back tightness) did not practice.


The Giants were looking at the big picture with their decision to keep Pierre-Paul, an eight-year veteran, out of practice today. At the beginning of camp, general manager Jerry Reese said there are a few older players on the squad who the coaches and the staff have talked about resting and said, "Okay, let's make sure these guys get to the game, get to the season. You've got to protect them in some ways." Eli Manning, of course, was the big name everyone attached to that comment, but they're going to be just as smart with Pierre-Paul, who has not played all 16 games since 2014.

"It's been a while, but leading up to it I have been playing well," Pierre-Paul said. "But the main thing for me is to stay healthy and I feel like what coach did today was a big help as much as I wanted to be out there with my teammates. Just sitting on the sidelines and seeing things, I know exactly what is going to happen. And if that person doesn't do it, it just makes me know that I know the game mentally and I can just sit back and watch and focus on what I need to do right."


With Shepard sidelined, fellow receivers Darius Powe and Tavarres King stepped up today. Powe is looking to make the 53-man roster after falling just short last year and landing on the practice squad.

"I'd say definitely just confidence," Powe said of the difference between this year and last. "I feel like I play a lot better just knowing that I'm better. And then I think the practice squad reps last year definitely helped me with the confidence, too, and perform this year."

Meanwhile, King is trying to build off last season's ending, which included a clutch 44-yard reception that helped the Giants defeat the Redskins on the road in Week 17. He then led the team with 73 receiving yards and a touchdown in the playoff game in Green Bay. King had just one catch for six yards before those two outings.

"You know, you can't really look back," King said. "You've got to look forward. I'm happy, I'm happy the way things went. I'm happy that I got an opportunity in the end and that I did well with the opportunity. But now, like I said, it's all about getting better and building on that. I want to build on that to help this team any way that I can."


In the competition to back up Eli Manning, quarterbacks Josh Johnson and Geno Smith have been alternating with the second team at practice. Today was Johnson's turn to be No. 2, and after enjoying his first full offseason with the team, he is relishing the opportunity in the offense.

"I'm trying to be as good as 10 (Manning) at it," said Johnson, who signed with the Giants six days before the 2016 regular season began. "If something happens to 10, that's what you have to show the team that you could be able to handle the ship. So, everything that 10 is doing out there – just trying to gain command of it. Feel real comfortable at it. Obviously, there's always something to clean up. But, in regards to what we're really trying to get done, I'm improving at it a lot every day."


After rookie minicamp, 10 OTAs, mandatory minicamp and a handful of training camp practices up to this point, today was the first time the 2017 New York Giants put the full pads on (Tuesday was just shoulder pads). Now the evaluations can begin.

"I think the second day of pads is always a challenge to get them down, and I thought we were off the ground for the most part today," McAdoo said. "I need to go in and take a look at the tape, but fitting your pads in is a big part of things and the second day guys are sore obviously. They haven't had those types of collisions in a while. Some guys a year, some guys over half a year. I thought we did a nice job today, especially on two different surfaces."

Naturally, there were some scrums after the whistle.

"I didn't see much. We had a couple dust-ups, but nothing major," McAdoo said. "We had it under control. We're going to have a little bit of that, we have pads on. Guys aren't going to feel great, especially come the end of the week. That's healthy."

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