It will be a light day for the Giants today after two solid days of practice in preparation of Saturday's preseason home opener vs Jacksonville. Not practicing yesterday were three WRs - Victor Cruz (calf). Rueben Randle (knees) and Julian Talley (toe).
Also sitting out: safeties Landon Collins (knee) and Cooper Taylor (toe), DE George Selvie (knee), CB Jayron Hosley (concussion), and OL Brandon Mosley (back).
Safety Nat Berhe (calf) finally participated in a practice this summer. Penciled in as a potential starter before camp, Berhe said he felt no soreness after a limited showing on Thursday.
“It’s been so long that getting back out there made me realize how much I’ve really, really missed it,” said Berhe, who claims he will be 100% on Monday. “It was one thing to say I missed it, but to actually get out there on the field, I’m like, ‘Man, this is where I belong.’ So it was good. I got a lot of reps today on scout, and on (special) teams. I was able to get in a couple toward the end of team, I was able to get thrown in for two, three plays. I was good. Just trying to make sure I ran to everything so I can get my cardio back, and just trying to get in shape at this point."
The aches at WR will give a few of the Giants' youngsters a chance to strut their stuff on Saturday. Cruz and Randle will be held out again and Odell Beckham, Jr. will play only a few series. That opens the door for sixth-round pick Geremy Davis, second-year pro Corey Washington and free-agent signee Dwayne Harris.
“I think every day is a good day for me,” Washington said. “Once one guy goes down, another guy has to step up. It’s a good opportunity for me because I get more reps. I’m just waiting to see when the season starts, to see if I made the 53-man roster and we’ll go from there.”
Washington, who made the club last season as an undrafted rookie, lit it up in preseason but was a footnote once the season began. His poor special teams play held him back. He's worked on that over the past year.
“I’m still considered a special teams player,” Washington said. “So I have to perform on offense and special teams, and hopefully be able to make the team again."
Harris was brought in to bolster the special teams. But the Giants gave the former Cowboy a $7 million signing bonus, indicating they would like to use him on offense as well. He's welcoming the extra work.
“It just gives me a chance to get out and work on my craft, and get a better understanding of the playbook, too,” said Harris, the five-year veteran who joined the Giants as a free agent this offseason. And get the feel with Eli and how he works, and how he operates. It’s a good feeling. It’s good for me, it’s good for my preparation, and it’s good for Eli getting a feel for me.”
Davis worked with the first team offense on Thursday along with veteran free-agent signee James Jones. The rookie out of UConn has a mindset to always be prepared.
“One of the things my coaches used to say in the past, ‘You want to never know that the starting guy is missing,’” Davis said. “So I’m trying to make sure I do that good of a job, that you can’t even tell the difference. I’m just trying to fill in the role of some talented wide receivers, and just establish trust from the quarterbacks and just do my part...Once someone gets hurt, you’re next in line. You never know, that second-string guy, if someone goes down in the first group, that preparation you did with second-string can help you out with first-string as well.”
The Giants are dealing with a pleasant problem at WR right now. When healthy, they perhaps have too many. One player that has fallen under the radar is Preston Parker, a player the team likes and could use in the slot in the event Cruz cannot go.