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Notebook: Peppers feels good, but status uncertain


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Neither Joe Judge nor Jabrill Peppers would say today if the Giants' strong safety and special teams captain will return to action Sunday against the Cowboys in Dallas.

Peppers was inactive for last week's game against the Rams in Los Angeles after injuring his ankle the previous week against San Francisco. He has practiced on a limited basis all week and is officially listed as questionable.

"We'll see where he is kind of through the weekend in terms of what he does on Sunday," Judge said. "He got some work yesterday. He was a little bit limited in some things. Look, Jabrill is a competitor. We'll see how he does today."

Judge prohibits the players from publicly discussing injuries, so Peppers revealed little on a Zoom call with reporters.

"It feels good," he said. "I've been taking it day by day. The trainers have a good plan for me. I'm just sticking to the plan. It feels good to be back out there at practice with the guys, get moving around, get the blood flowing a little bit."

Judge said Peppers' availability will not be determined by any kind of snap count.

"It's always more of a question in terms of not necessarily the reps, it's more of a question of if we put a guy on the field, can he get hurt worse?" Judge said. "To me, it's a difference in tolerating pain, and that's a player's decision, and can he get hurt worse. If he can injure something worse or any player can, that to me is when we have to step in as coaches and trainers and make a decision for him."

In Peppers' absence last week, Logan Ryan played all 57 snaps at one safety spot and Adrian Colbert and Julian Love split time at the other. Peppers and Ryan would presumably see most of the action if the former is healthy.

Wide receiver Golden Tate returned three punts for 30 yards replacing Peppers in that role. If Peppers plays, will he return punts?

"We have to get back out there first," Pepper said. "That's what my main concern is."

"It's a feel thing and it's more on Jabrill and how he feels," special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said. "You just never know with these things. Whenever he's ready to go, he'll hop in and, I promise you, he'll let me know.

"Just like we've always done it, by situation. Like the last two years, Golden and Jabrill have been our punt returners. It's just a feel thing. If he feels fresh and he can go back there, he's good. If not, he'll come off and Golden will go back there. Get a fresh pair of legs back there, fresh mind to make a good decision. Those two guys will handle it."

*In addition to Peppers, linebacker Kyler Fackrell and Colbert are questionable with neck injuries.

*Running back Devonta Freeman rushed for 43 yards in his first two games with the Giants and is expecting more of himself this week.

"I'm a lot more comfortable," Freeman said. "Football is football. Me catching up to the proper language here and just continuing to learn and elevate. Continue to take my game to the next level. I'm a lot more comfortable and it's going to be a week by week thing. (We're) game planning, so different teams, different schemes and stuff like that. Taking it week by week, day by day, and continue to learn every week, every day."

*The Giants today placed second-year outside linebacker Oshane Ximines on injured reserve. Ximines hurt his shoulder last week in Los Angeles and did not practice all week. He will be eligible to return to the roster after missing three games.

Ximines played in each of the season's first four games, starting three. He was credited with five tackles (four solo), three quarterback hits and one tackle for loss.

Ximines was a third-round draft choice out of Old Dominion in 2019. As a rookie, he played in all 16 games with two starts and recorded 24 tackles (11 solo) and tied Lorenzo Carter for second on the team with 4.5 sacks.


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