The Giants seem to have sidestepped a major injury in their first OTA of the offseason.

Defensive end Robert Ayers Jr. was carted off the field after trainers examined his left leg during the workout Wednesday, but tests showed no serious damage to either his knee or ankle. It's unclear how long Ayers will be sidelined exactly, but he's expected to be back sometime during the spring workouts, which conclude next month.

The Giants have had some rotten luck when it comes to injuries in OTAs in recent years. Last year, Jon Beason injured his foot, which robbed him of most of his season and eventually required surgery. The year before that, it was Henry Hynoski's shoulder. And in 2012, Hakeem Nicks broke his foot in OTAs and was never again the same player.

Maybe, though, the Giants already suffered their big offseason injury when they lost starting left tackle Will Beatty to a torn pectoral during weight training last week.

"He was trying to get better," Tom Coughlin said of Beatty, expected to miss five to six months. "What he was trying to do was get strong, which I think our team has to do and I have said that . . . Why did it happen? Who knows, but it is most unfortunate."

As for Ayers, he appeared to injure himself on the first team snap of the workout. Lined up at right defensive end, he fell to the ground off the snap.

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"For some reason, he went low," Coughlin said.

Ereck Flowers, the starting left tackle who was lined up across from Ayers on the play, said he thought Ayers slipped on some loose turf. Ayers remained in the drills for a while before heading to the sideline and, eventually, the locker room.

JPP expected . . . sort of

Coughlin said he wants Jason Pierre-Paul to be at the team's mandatory veteran minicamp next month. But he also knows that probably won't happen.

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"I expect him to be here," Coughlin said. "Could it be that he won't be here? That could happen, sure."

Pierre-Paul has yet to sign his franchise tag tender and has been a no-show at the team's offseason workouts. Until he signs, he's under no obligation to attend any of the team events, voluntary or mandatory.

Coughlin did say the team has been in communication with Pierre-Paul.

Giant steps

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LB Devon Kennard (ankle) and S Nat Berhe (calf) did not participate in the Wednesday workout . . . P Steve Weatherford was not at the OTA but in California, where his wife is expecting their fourth child . . . WR Corey Washington, a star last preseason, caught two contested passes in the red-zone drills against Prince Amukamara . . . Rookie Landon Collins and Cooper Taylor started at safety on the first defense. Beason, Jonathan Casillas and J.T. Thomas were the starting linebackers while last year's starter, Jameel McClain, worked with the second team. The defensive front opened with Cullen Jenkins, Markus Kuhn, Johnathan Hankins and Ayers . . . Rookie S Mykkele Thompson had the only interception of the workout, picking off a deep, underthrown pass from Ryan Nassib that was intended for Preston Parker . . . Stony Brook University product Michael Bamiro was the second-string left tackle. He could be one of the players Coughlin was thinking about when he noted that someone could take advantage of increased reps to earn a job because of Beatty's injury . . . The Giants will hold joint training camp practices with the Bengals this summer, the first time they will do so since a fight-plagued session with the Jets in 2005. "[Jeremy] Shockey's not here anymore, so I think we'll have a shot to keep it civilized," Manning quipped about one of that day's infamous instigators.