BEREA, Ohio – Four players the Giants hope will be big offensive producers this season will not participate in the two joint practices with the Cleveland Browns: wide receivers Kenny Golladay and rookies Kadarius Toney, running back Saquon Barkley (who took part in individual drills) and tight end Kyle Rudolph (who has yet to practice after undergoing offseason foot surgery).
Coach Joe Judge was asked first about Golladay and Toney when he spoke to reporters prior to practice.
"Both those guys are going to focus more on the rehab with the trainers," Judge said. "We're going to keep ramping up those guys as the week goes. They're both on different levels in terms of their individual bodies, but while we're here we'll use the facilities that the Browns are allowing us to use. Our trainers will be here with them, Saquon as well will be in that boat. He won't do anything competitive against the Browns, so we're just going to focus on these guys getting in better shape, focus on getting healthy and getting back on the field and 100 percent."
The foursome will not play when the teams meet in a preseason game Sunday in FirstEnergy Stadium.
Judge disagreed with the phrasing when a reporter said he saw Barkley "sneak into" a seven-on-seven drill in practice earlier this week.
"He didn't sneak in," Judge said. "Everything we're doing for him is very scripted for him, so a few one-on-ones, a few seven-on-sevens for him. There's times where we put him in a red (non-contact) jersey. We're very specific about who he's working against on our team to make sure we're really controlling the reps. Our guys have a lot of respect for all of our teammates, especially guys in the position Saquon's in coming off injury, so we want to make sure there's no miscommunication or misinterpretation of what the drill is. We're going to limit the contact at this point.
"He's definitely advancing in his rehab. We're going to keep on pushing him as far as we can. Going against another team in competitive drills, we don't think that's the smartest avenue for any of our players coming off of injury right now, so we're going to be careful with Saquon, but he is progressing in his rehab."
Check out must-see photos from the joint practices between the Giants and Browns in Cleveland.
*Both Judge and Browns coach Kevin Stefanski stressed to their players the importance of practicing hard without gratuitous pushing, shoving or fighting.
"It's football, so it's going to be competitive," Judge said. "Right now, the leadership group on our team and the Browns are talking, making sure we're on the same page. Both staffs have talked to the players extensively. I spoke to our players, Kevin spoke to his players, we're both giving the message that we're here to work together. We don't have to get on a plane and fly cross-country to come get in a fist fight. We're out here to play football against a good team and improve what we're doing as a team."
*Judge not only knows what he expects his players to put into it the practice, but he has specific expectations what the Giants should get out of these two-team workouts.
"In terms of what we're trying to learn, we're trying to really focus on our fundamentals and how we can progress," Judge said. "It's definitely going to be a different look against their players. It's different when you see the same guys in practice day in and day out, you can really get a feel and a rhythm for what they do as a player technique-wise. You can watch all the tape you want, but once you go ahead and get in live action or at least faster paced competitive action against a different opponent, it's going to always be different. They've got very talented players on this roster, it's a very well-put together team, it's a very well-coached team, so it's going to be a great challenge for our guys these next few days coming out here and competing."
*The Giants got their first look at cornerback Josh Jackson, who was acquired Tuesday in a trade with Green Bay for corner Isaac Yiadom.
"There's a lot of things we like about him and it's not just one specific thing," Judge said. "We thought overall it was not only a good move for the team, but it was good for the players involved as well. We appreciate everything (Packers DB) Isaac (Yiadom) did here, he made a lot of contributions to the team, we love him as a person, respect him as a player. He was a guy who was very well-liked in the locker room. I have all the respect in the world for Ike and for what he did for our team. I think it's going to be a good situation where he's going for him. I wanted to make sure that as a vet in this league and someone who's really contributed to our team that I make the decision to always help the team, but also had his interests in mind as well in giving him the opportunity with a few weeks left in camp to go out there and make a team.
*Judge said earlier this week the Giants might add an offensive lineman before traveling to Cleveland, where they will face the Browns in a preseason game on Sunday. But the ability to field two linemen who weren't available last week mitigated the need to bring in someone quickly.
"Jonotthan Harrison is back out there fully practicing with us now," Judge said. "Ted Larsen we added right before the game last week. I didn't want to throw him in a live action without him even having a snap in training camp. That really wouldn't have been fair to him, that was more of a break glass, emergency type of situation. We were able to get through that without using him. He's obviously been practicing with the team now, so I feel like we've added a couple players right there to help with our depth.
*Referee Bill Vinovich heads the NFL officiating crew working the joint practices.
*Shane Lemieux, who did not play in the preseason opener vs. the Jets, fully returned to practice.