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After 2 weeks out, LB Devon Kennard is eager to return

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Probable, questionable, doubtful and out are the four designations on an NFL injury report heading into game day.


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But if you had to list Devon Kennard right now, he's hopeful.

The Giants' second-year linebacker is itching to get back on the field after missing the last two games with a hamstring issue. Coming off a Monday night loss to Philadelphia, the team returned to the practice fields today at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, where Kennard was able to participate on a limited basis.

"Two weeks felt like freaking two months," Kennard said. "I can't wait to get out there. I love the way our defense is competing and playing week in and week out. And I want to be a part of it. I want do what I can to help us win."

Before the injury, Kennard racked up 25 tackles and four passes defensed so far this season, including his first career interception in the Buffalo game when he was injured. The Giants pulled off a thrilling 30-27 victory over San Francisco a week later but then fell 27-7 to Philadelphia, snapping a three-game winning streak in the process.

With another NFC East matchup around the corner against Dallas, Kennard has every intention of returning to the field this Sunday.

"I just want to continue to progress every day," said Kennard, who missed four games of his breakout rookie campaign due to injuries. "Today we did a jog-through and I was running around pretty well and it felt good. Tomorrow is more of a full-speed practice and I'll do the same thing and just see how it's feeling throughout the week and when it's Sunday, make the call. But I'm pretty hopeful and I'm hoping I can play because I really want to play in this one."

Kennard returning to the practice field was just one of the many storylines coming out of Wednesday. Here are the main takeaways from the day:

1. ON TO DALLAS

Especially on a short week, the Giants had no time or desire to talk about what happened on Monday night in Philadelphia. Rather, coach Tom Coughlin set the tone in his Wednesday press conference by saying, "I'm not going backwards and discussing last week, I'll save you that one." Those sentiments were echoed in the locker room.

Quarterback Eli Manning when asked about avoiding the kinds of losing streaks that have plagued the team in the recent past: "Don't know, go out and play the next game. It's the last thing on our mind, we're not thinking about that. We've lost games this season, we've bounced back so we just got to bounce back and get ready for this Dallas game."

Left tackle Ereck Flowers: "I'm looking forward to talking about this next game." Safety Brandon Meriweather: "Every week is going to be a big game. This is the NFL. This isn't college."

2. INJURY REPORT

For the Giants, CB Prince Amukamara was. As expected, ruled out for a second-straight week after suffering a pectoral injury. WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring), WR Victor Cruz (calf), CB Trumaine McBride (groin) and CB Trevin Wade (concussion) did not participate in practice. Kennard, DE Robert Ayers Jr. (hamstring), WR Rueben Randle (hamstring), LB Jonathan Casillas (neck) and LB Uani 'Unga (neck) were limited.

For the Cowboys, WR Dez Bryant (foot) did not practice. TE James Hanna (ankle) was limited, and WR Brice Butler (hamstring), and DE Randy Gregory (ankle) were full-go.

On a conference call with Giants reporters, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Bryant "had a good day today, didn't work in the team drills with us, but worked on the side in his uniform with our rehab guys. Again, he's making progress every day."

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3. 'HUNGRY DUDES' READY FOR COWBOYS' FRONT SEVEN

While all eyes are on the Cowboys' offense with injuries to Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo and an All-Pro receiver in Bryant, their defense is getting back to full strength. Defensive end Greg Hardy and middle linebacker Rolando McClain are back from four-game suspensions, and the rookie Gregory, the Cowboys' second-round pick, is looking like he'll play for the first time since Week 1.

"They've got a real good defensive line," Flowers said. "They've got a lot of depth, so it's going to be a good game. We're saying it's going to be a four-quarter game. So that's what we're looking forward to. It's exciting. So that's what it is."

This comes a week after the Giants allowed three sacks of Manning after surrendering only four in the first five games. Add in the way the season opened in Dallas, and the Giants, in the words of Flowers, have "a lot of hungry dudes right now ready for this game."

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