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Standouts: Kyle Rudolph returns; Slayton shines

The New York Giants participated in their first of two joint practices with the Patriots on Wednesday in New England. Here were the standout players:

TE Kyle Rudolph

Wednesday was the first day Kyle Rudolph was able to practice after being removed from the physically unable to perform list following offseason foot surgery. He only participated in individual drills, but it was a big step in the right direction.

"I feel good," Rudolph said. "It was exciting to be back out there with my teammates. For me, this was the first football I've gotten to play since December. I've still got a long way to go, a lot of work left ahead, but this is what I love to do. The last few months have been tough just watching each and every day, but I've got to give a ton of credit to our medical staff, our trainers, our doctors. Here I am today back at practice and it felt damn good."

His teammates were also happy to have the veteran back on the practice field.

"Good to see him out there," quarterback Daniel Jones said. "He's worked so hard to get back and he's been behind the scenes a lot helping all of us, helping me, helping the tight ends, and it's been good to have him out there."

Rudolph's experience has been felt on and off the field in every aspect of the game.

"He's a receiving threat, he's a blocking threat, he's really smart in the film room," tight end Evan Engram said. "I learn from him, every meeting he teaches me something and I know it's the same for the rest of the guys. He literally is going to help us in every aspect of the game and I'm really excited about it.

This is only the first step of Rudolph's return, with the ultimate goal of being ready for the first regular season game against the Broncos on Sept. 12.

"These next couple of weeks are huge," Rudolph said. "I mentioned it before, I just was able to get my feet wet today, but I've got a lot of work left to do. I'm just going to keep working each and every day chipping away at it. One of my favorite sayings is, 'You eat an elephant one bite at a time,' so if I look two weeks from now as, 'Oh my God, how am I going to get ready to play a game?' I'll never get there. But if I just take it each day a time, I'll be happy with where I'm at in two weeks."

WR Darius Slayton

Slayton was a frequent target for Daniel Jones. He was able to win during 7-on-7, red zone and team drills. Slayton, who was considered primarily a speedy deep threat early in his career, has become a receiver able to win at all levels of the defense on different routes.

WR Dante Pettis

Pettis didn't have a high volume of catches, but he did make the most important catch for the Giants during the final two-minute period of practice. On a third-and-long, he caught a pass despite the defensive back getting his hand out in front of him with a diving attempt to knock the pass away. Pettis then turned up the field for a big gain that put the Giants into field goal range. Graham Gano connected on the kick two plays later.

View photos of the Giants practicing with the Patriots in New England ahead of Sunday's preseason finale.

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