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Sideline View: Practice observations (8/17)

notes-81717.jpg brings you Training Camp notes and observations straight from the sidelines:

Let the games begin.

After officially breaking camp on Tuesday and players getting the day off yesterday, the New York Giants jumped into a mock game week leading up to Monday night's preseason contest in Cleveland. That will mark the beginning of an 11-day stretch in which they play three more times.

•   The Giants broke out the cards today, meaning one side of the ball ran plays off a sheet that included looks they expect to see from the upcoming opponent, which in this case was Cleveland. "Today was a little bit of a change of pace," coach Ben McAdoo said. "We are learning to practice on how to prepare for an opponent. So we had some ups and downs today. We were a little slow with our tempo, but that will get better as we move forward."

•   Second-year cornerback Eli Apple was held back today as a precaution because of an ankle issue that came up after Tuesday's practice. "I just got kicked a little bit just going against some of the receivers," Apple said. "It kind of bruised up after [Tuesday's] practice, but it's not a big deal."

•   Cornerback Michael Hunter stepped in for Apple and grabbed an interception. "He had a nice day today," McAdoo said. "He made a nice play on the ball, couple flashes on the ball from press coverage on a go route, which is tough to do and encouraging to see. He is a young player that is making gains."

•   Wide receiver Dwayne Harris, who made his first Pro Bowl last year as a special teamer, missed practice with a sore upper body injury. Linebacker Mark Herzlich (stinger) is progressing, but he's not where the training staff wants him to be yet, McAdoo said.

•   Rookie quarterback David Webb took some team snaps today and is expected to take on more in the future. The third-round pick had been mostly relegated to a seven-on-seven "opportunity" period, which is focused mainly on younger players. The assumption has been that it's a two-man race between Josh Johnson and Geno Smith to be Eli Manning's primary backup while Webb developed. But we all know what happens when you assume something. "I think we all have to be careful making assumptions," McAdoo said. "Josh and Geno are competing right now for the number two spot, and if that doesn't look the way we want it to look, Davis will get a crack."

•   Running back Shaun Draughn, who was activated off the physically unable to perform list this week along with linebacker J.T. Thomas, practiced today. Meanwhile, Thomas is going through individual drills and will eventually build up to seven-on-seven, special teams, and 11-on-11 work.

•   All-Pro safety Landon Collins (illness) and linebacker B.J. Goodson (back) returned to practice after missing time on Tuesday.

•   Similar to last year's plan, Eli Manning is expected to play in the second and third preseason games. Manning, also like last season, did not play in the opener vs. Pittsburgh this past Friday. McAdoo said having three games in 11 days "will be a factor" in playing time for the starters.

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