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Presser Points: Rookies step up; Seahawks preview

BRIAN-DABOLL-SOCIOS

The three New York-based teams are 11-0 in October, the most wins without a loss by a state in any month in NFL history. But the Giants will be far from the Empire State this week.

The team will look to improve to 7-1 on the other side of the country in Seattle, home of the NFC West-leading Seahawks. Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media before Wednesday's practice as on-field preparations began.

Here is everything you need to know:

🔹 Seven surgeries haven't stopped Nick Gates. The offensive lineman returned to the practice field this month after more than a year on the sidelines due to a gruesome leg injury. Today, he was added to the active roster. The Giants had three more players return to practice today, including offensive tackle Matt Peart, who was on the physically unable to perform list. Outside linebacker Elerson Smith and cornerback Rodarius Williams were also designated for return from injured reserve.

🔹 Daboll said Gates looks "ready to go" and is physically ready to play in a game right now. Gates has experience at all positions on the line, but they're working him mostly at guard and center.

🔹 Daboll was asked to reflect on Gates' long journey back: "Oh, phew. It's impressive. I mean, so many surgeries and so much rehab. You saw him when I first got here. Just a testament to the young man. It takes a lot of perseverance to go through what he's been through and to be out here. Impressive young man."

🔹 A reporter brought up how well the New York teams have been doing this season. "I can only speak of the games. The games have been great. I get in my car and drive home and drive here. I don't really do anything else."

So, he hasn't bumped into anyone in public talking about the 6-1 start? "Unless it's in my driveway or when I'm walking in the building (Laughs). I'd just say when you're going out onto the field, the fan support even down in Jacksonville. I said it was unbelievable after the game. It was. Again, just very thankful for the opportunity that we have. We appreciate the support. They've been great."

🔹 Daboll is never surprised by any player, including Geno Smith. The Seahawks quarterbacks is posting career-highs in completion percentage (73.5) and passer rating (107.7) in his 10th season. "I think every player is in their own unique situation. I think he's playing really good football. He's playing top level football at the quarterback position. Watch him play all these games; he's making great decisions. He's accurate with the football. He's leading the team down to score a bunch of points. He's really done a fantastic job."

🔹 Daboll also had high praise for Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III, a rookie second-round choice who ran for 168 yards and two touchdowns last week. "He's a special, special player. We looked at him in the draft – really liked him. He was productive, obviously, at Michigan State. [He] has all the qualities you look for in a good back. He's got quickness, he's got good vision, he's got good patience. He can take it the distance. I've been very impressed with him, watching him on tape."

🔹 In a four-week span, the Giants will have traveled to London, Jacksonville, and Seattle. "We just play them where they show up," Daboll said. The coach had director of rehabilitation/physical therapist Leigh Weiss talk to the team earlier in the week about the importance of staying on top of things like hydration and sleep.

🔹 Daboll was asked what impresses him most about Kayvon Thibodeaux as the fifth overall pick approaches the midway point of his rookie year. "That he loves the game of football. He's a really good teammate. He's smart, and he gives great effort. Those things are very important. Obviously, we knew he was talented. I think his intangibles have been very good for us, and they're going to need to continue to be."

The rookie also had a "good effort" play in Jacksonville, where he tracked down Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. "Sure, yeah. But again, we preach all the time, 11 hats to the ball. Everyone's job is to hustle and make sure we get the ball carrier down and live to see another day. Whether it's a long run or not, all those guys do a good job of giving great effort. That's what we want to do. We want to give great effort whether that's on offense, defense, the kicking game. And I know the play you're talking about. It was a good effort play."

🔹 The Giants' most recent comeback was even more impressive given the fact they did it without two starting offensive linemen. Left guard Ben Bredeson and rookie right tackle Evan Neal went down with knee injuries in the first half and were replaced by Josh Ezeudu and Tyre Phillips, respectively. Daboll was asked about the development of Ezeudu, a rookie third-round choice. "You don't see it, obviously, when he's not playing. But each week, he gets a little better on the show teams. He does a good job in individual [drills]. Still a young player. Still a long way to go. But I think [offensive line coach] Bobby [Johnson] and [assistant offensive line coach] Tony [Sparano Jr.] have done a good job. And credit to Josh; he's done a good job on keeping his eye on just getting better day-by-day."

🔹 Quarterback Daniel Jones was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after becoming the first player in Giants history with 200 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in a game. "Obviously, you say 'congratulations.' I think those are special awards for any player. I think that any player would say they're team awards, too. This is such a team sport. But certainly, you say congratulations on the achievement that he had for the week. I thank all the other guys, too, for helping him out. You need everybody else for a quarterback, too."

🔹 Below is a look at the Giants' Wednesday injury report.

Did not participate in practice:

  • TE Daniel Bellinger (Eye)
  • G Ben Bredeson (Knee)
  • CB Cor'Dale Flott (Calf)
  • WR Kenny Golladay (Knee)
  • T Evan Neal (Knee)
  • WR Kadarius Toney (Hamstring)
  • LB Oshane Ximines (Quad)

Limited:

  • T Tyre Phillips (Toe)
  • S Jason Pinnock (Foot)
  • DL Leonard Williams (Elbow)

View photos from practice as the Giants prepare for their Week 8 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.

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