*Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has been welcomed back to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center with open arms: *
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was elated the Giants won for the first time this season Sunday night in Denver, but watching the game on television instead of playing in it was no fun for the veteran cornerback.
"Very difficult, very difficult," Rodgers-Cromartie said today. "You can contribute a little bit. Any time the guys go out there to battle, you want to be out there with them. So to not be a part of that feeling that just means we have to go out there and get another one this week."
Rodgers-Cromartie will have an opportunity to help the cause this week. He missed the 23-10 victory against the Broncos after being placed on indefinite suspension by the club last week. But DRC was reinstated yesterday and will return to the field when the Giants host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
"It feels great to be back, especially after a team win," DRC said. "The guys really went out there and they fought hard. I watched the whole game. I decided it felt like a little kid out there watching my brothers go to work. Hurt not to be out there, but at the end of the day we got the win."
Rodgers-Cromartie practiced with the team today, and any residual negativity from last week seemed to have totally evaporated.
"It's great to have DRC back," coach Ben McAdoo said. "Had a lot of energy. Welcomed him back with open arms."
"We're happy that he's back," safety Landon Collins said. "It's a blessing and ready to get back on the field with him now. Excited to get back on the field with him."
Rodgers-Cromartie today put the onus for the suspension on himself.
"To be honest, coach called me up and he said some things and I kind of didn't agree with it, and I handled it the wrong way," DRC said. "At the end of the day, that's on me. So the suspension, I take that. All I can do is try to work back to get in good grace with the guys. I'm just glad that they didn't let this turn them from me and they accepted me and I'm just back working, man."
The chain of events that led to his suspension began during the Giants' 27-22 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Oct.8, when DRC got visibly upset and briefly left the sideline.
"I get mad," he said. "I'm a competitor. I like to be out there with my guys out there. I did get tweaked (in his foot) and there was a misunderstanding, but as I'm trying to tell as we're going back and forth, like are you hurt? Are you good coming in and out? I'm like, 'I'm good,' but the decision was for me not to be in there. I should have accepted that, but at the time, we were winning, they were driving, I'm thinking I need to go on that field. So when I come off, I got mad.
"I got a tweak and they thought that was it, but I'm like, 'I'm good.' Just miscommunication. At the end of the day, I still can't react the way I did. Did I wear my emotions on my sleeve? Yeah, because at the end of the day man, I just want to play ball."
He certainly didn't lose his sense of humor during the week he was gone. Rodgers-Cromartie was asked about reports he had cleaned out his locker when he left last week.
"I'm dramatic, man," he said. "I'm crazy. I can't help that. I do stuff over the top, man. I apologized. I handled it wrong, but I'm good, baby. I'm back, baby, that's all that matters."
His meeting with McAdoo yesterday was much more pleasant than the one they had last week.
"That was good, man," DRC said. "It probably went good because we got the win. He had a big smile on his face. He just said, 'Hey, stuff happens. You know, I get it. But from this forward on, you just got to come back, work your way back in and get back in good grace.' And I understand that."
*Wide receiver Sterling Shepard returned to practice on a limited basis today. He sprained his ankle vs. the Chargers and did not play in Denver.
"I was full speed," Shepard said. "Just kind of cut me loose today a little bit. Still limited in some of the stuff I was doing, but it felt good overall."
Asked if he expects to play Sunday against Seattle, Shepard said, "I went full speed today, felt pretty good. So I see no reason why not."
*Five players did not practice today, including cornerback Eli Apple who was excused for a "personal reason," according to McAdoo. The others were linebackers Jonathan Casillas (neck) and Calvin Munson (quad), center Weston Richburg (concussion), and guard John Jerry (tooth).
In addition to Shepard, three players were limited: safety Landon Collins (ankle), defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), and running back Paul Perkins (ribs).