Giants starting to feel the sting of injury bug as training camp continues

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New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8 throws a pass over New England Patriots defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale (95) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, in Foxborough, Mass.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The number of injured Giants impacted the team’s practice on Sunday morning as New York looked less than stellar through the two hours of on-field work at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. 

The already long list of Giants dealing with some variation of injuries could be getting longer after three players left early and head coach Brian Daboll raised doubts that left guard Shane Lemieux, who is dealing with a foot injury, would be ready for the season opener next month. It was also unlikely that wide receiver Kadarius Toney would practice at all this week after missing Thursday’s preseason opener in New England. 

“He definitely, he did something, but we’re day-by-day with these injuries,” Daboll said specifically when asked about Lemieux. “We’ll see where he’s at. I know the guy will rehab the best he can to get available for us.”

The roughly 20 Giant players — 13 offensive players and seven defensive players — dealing with ailments or injuries is not exactly the way the organization had hoped to get things going during the start of the new regime of Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen. 

The loss of Lemieux is an especially tough one for the Giants since their offensive line depth has already become a bit thin and there had been so much focus on them already. To compound matters, center Jon Felciano left practice early flanked by team personnel. 

On the opposite side of the ball, linebackers Elerson Smith and Jihad Ward also left practice early with no update provided on their statuses. 

Daboll was asked if he had planned to change up the practice routines because of all the injuries at camp, which he said he hadn’t at this point. 

 “We were going to go three days in pads,” he said. “But I think after talking to the sports science and trainers, we did adjust one of those days to a no padded practice. But every team goes through it every year. It’s not much different than 15 years ago, 10 years ago, of teams I’ve been around. You’re constantly doing that.”

Offensive tackle Andrew Thomas told reporters that injuries are just something that happens during camp.

“It’s training camp, guys are up and down, it’s just like the regular season and we just have to deal with it,” he said. 

One piece of good news for the Giants on Sunday had been the return of second-year linebacker Azeez Ojulari from the non-football injury list. He had been dealing with a hamstring issue. 

Ojulari said it had felt good to be back out there on the field after missing so much of camp and that he didn’t feel like he was behind some of the other players that have already been on the field. 

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“I don’t think so. I’ve been locked in since the jump,” he said. “Even though I was on the side, I’m still locked in with the walk-throughs, the play calls, the playbook and everything – the conditioning and everything. I’m still locked in. Just continue to get back into the flow of things with pads on and everything.”

Though it is unclear if Ojulari would be ready for the Giants’ preseason game at home against Cincinnati on Sunday.