East Rutherford, N.J. – Evan Engram said today he is on track to play in the Giants' next game, and this time he really means it.
The Giants' second-year tight end has missed three games with a knee injury suffered in Houston on Sept. 23. Early last week, he was hopeful of playing in the Thursday night game against Philadelphia, but was inactive on game day.
"Just wasn't ready, just wasn't ready," Engram said today. "That practice (last Tuesday), just wasn't able to be myself, and it was just a quick turnaround. (I was) kind of hurt not having a full week of practice to kind of fight through the soreness and recover and have another practice, but that quick week was kind of tough on us. So it just wasn't ready and I thought that game and having a nice break and a lot of days going into this Monday night will be more ideal."
Engram was on the field today as the Giants returned to the practice field after a three-day hiatus. They next play Monday night in Atlanta, and Engram expects to be in uniform.
"(The knee) felt really good," Engram said. "Felt a lot more confident on it and was able to kind of push through and not try to nurse it as much, and try to just gain more confidence. I was able to do that today and excited about the rest of the week."
Moments earlier, Engram had told reporters gathered at his locker, "Today was a really good day. Went out there and made sure I got warm and stuff and was running around and going as fast as I can go, and making all the cuts and doing everything I can do to block, so it felt good. Still got a lot of time, good amount of days until game time, so very probable and I feel really good about going into (the remaining practices)."
Another tight end, Rhett Ellison, who missed the Eagles game with a foot injury, also practiced today.
"We are hopeful they'll be back and ready to roll on Monday," coach Pat Shurmur said.
*Tackle Nate Solder and linebackers Olivier Vernon and Connor Barwin didn't work, but it's six days until game day.
"There is just some game wear and tear from last week," Shurmur said. "No, I don't have any concerns as of now (regarding their availability for the Falcons)."
*Rookie defensive end RJ McIntosh practiced for the first time since joining the team in May, but he remains on the reserve/non-football injury list.
"It's been a long time since I've been able to do that – since last year, I think," McIntosh said. "It felt great to be around the guys, and doing D-line drills with them. Finally feeling like I'm a part of the team.
"I know I'm a part of the team. It's just I wasn't able to do anything besides working out and meetings. Physical work, I wasn't able to do any football work. I'm excited, I feel blessed to finally have this opportunity."
McIntosh was the Giants' fifth-round draft choice this year, from the University of Miami. He did not participate in the spring drills or training camp and was placed on reserve/NFI. With McIntosh's return to practice, the Giants have a 21-day window to activate him to the 53-man roster (until Nov. 6, two days after the Giants' bye). If they do not activate him, McIntosh will remain on the reserve list.
McIntosh said he doesn't "really feel comfortable talking about" what forced him off the field for six months. "Something that popped up and it shouldn't come back up," he said.
Asked if he is optimistic about playing in a game this season, McIntosh said, "I'm praying for it. I want to be able to get out there. I made it this far, I want to be able to participate."
*In his opening remarks, Shurmur said the three-day break, "was nice for everybody to get away and reflect on things we need to get better on – coaches, players, everybody involved."
Naturally, the first question was, "What did you find in your reflection?"
"Some of it is, I think we need to play better, I think we need to coach better, and we're certainly not happy with the (1-5) record," Shurmur said. "I feel like when you're close in games, you look back on plays here and plays there, and close isn't enough. We've got to try to find a way to get it over the top."
*Statistical leftovers from the Philadelphia game:
*Saquon Barkley's 130 rushing yards were the seventh-highest highest total ever by a Giants rookie, and the most since Andre Williams ran for 131 yards at Tennessee on Dec. 7, 2014. It was the team's third-highest total by a rookie back in the Super Bowl era, behind Williams and Ahmad Bradshaw's 151 yards at Buffalo on Dec. 23, 2007.
*Barkley has receptions of 57 (a touchdown thrown by Odell Beckham, Jr. at Carolina) and 55 (from Eli Manning against Philly) yards this season. He is the first Giants running back with two receptions of 55+ yards in a season since Tiki Barber in 2004, and the first Giants rookie back to do it since David Meggett in 1989.
*The Eagles had a 58-yard pass from Carson Wentz to Nelson Agholor. It was the first Giants game in which each team had a pass of at least 55 yards since Oct. 16, 2016, when Manning threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Beckham, and Baltimore's Joe Flacco threw a pass to Mike Wallace for a 70-yard gain.
*The Giants gained 432 at Carolina and 401 yards vs. Philadelphia, their first consecutive 400-yard games since Sept. 18 and 25, 2016, when they totaled 417 yards vs. New Orleans and 457 yards against Washington.