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WR Wan'Dale Robinson passes physical, returns to practice


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Nine months and nine days after tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament, Wan'Dale Robinson reached a milestone he had aimed for since being helped off the MetLife Stadium field last Nov. 20. After spending the entire training camp working with athletic trainers on a side field, the Giants' second-year wide receiver was activated off the physically unable to perform list.

Had he stayed on PUP, Robinson would have had to miss at least the season's first four games. Instead, he participated in his first practice this afternoon.

"I wanted to go out there and show it even whenever I was just doing my rehab process that I'd be ready within those first four games so that they wouldn't have to sit me," Robinson said. "Then obviously, I'd have to have a little ramp up period if I was on the PUP and then maybe not been able to play for five or six games. Just wanted to get back out there, just get that chemistry back with (quarterback) Daniel (Jones), and just see what we can do from there.

"I'm ready. Right now, it's just going to be a little gradual build up, just kind of got back out there, get my feet back up under me today and just kind of go with the trainers and the coaching staff and just see where we are at from there."

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Now that he's back on the roster, Robinson has a chance to play in the Giants' Kickoff Weekend Sunday night game against the Dallas Cowboys.

"From the moment that I tore my ACL, that's what I was wondering, can I be back week one," he said. "Talked to Dr. (Neal) ElAttrache out in LA and he was like, 'It could be a shot. You just have to put the work in.' And I told him that was exactly what I was going to do. Luckily, about a month ago everything started looking really, really good and just was able to get back out there today."

Coach Brian Daboll was not about to make any predictions or promises.

"(We're) just going to see how he looks today and take it one day at a time," Daboll said.

Asked if the team considered keeping Robinson on PUP, Daboll said, "there were a lot of discussions about that relative to when he might be ready, when he's not ready, what's the best thing for the player, what's the best thing for the team and today we decided to bring him up."

Robinson was the 43rd overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, from the University of Kentucky. He first injured his knee in the season-opening victory in Tennessee and missed the next four games. Robinson returned in Week 6 vs. Baltimore, the first of five consecutive games in which he played.

The last of them was against the Lions, against whom Robinson had season high totals of nine receptions for 100 yards. But his season ended when he tore his ACL late in the game. Robinson finished his debut season with 23 receptions for 227 yards and one touchdown.

"I thought he was improving," Daboll said. "Obviously, the game he got hurt he was having a productive game. Again, he was a rookie receiver, learning a new offense. I think he's got the right mindset, had good speed, had good quickness, was productive, obviously, the game he got hurt and, unfortunately, he was out for a while."

Torn ACLs often sideline a player for a year, but Robinson might play in a game 9½ months after he was injured.

"I think the trainers have done a good job with him," Daboll said. "It'll be good to get him out on the practice field and doing some individuals with (wide receivers Coach Mike) Groh and then we'll kind of slowly put him into some of the other drills."

Robinson is happy his return to the field was relatively rapid.

"I am just glad to be back out there with the guys," he said. "It felt like a long time. Just put in a lot of work and just making sure that I got back out there with the guys.

"At the end of the day, I just want to help this football team win," he said. "Whether that's week one and I feel comfortable out there or week two or week three, whenever that may be. I'm hoping for week one, but (I) just want to help the team win."

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