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Darian Thompson eager for healthy competition at safety

Giants safety Darian Thompson during training camp at

Giants safety Darian Thompson during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on July 28, 2017. Photo Credit: Brad Penner

A year ago, when Darian Thompson opened training camp as a starting safety, it was noteworthy because he was a rookie. On Friday, when he was back in that same spot for the beginning of this year’s camp, it was also of significance.

Thompson missed most of the 2016 season with shoulder and foot injuries and then was sidelined for minicamp this spring with an illness. Yet there he was, lined up with the first unit and running freely around the field.

“I felt good just getting back out there on the field with my teammates and playing football again,” Thompson said after the workout. “Ever since we broke to go home after minicamp it’s been something on my mind, something I’ve been working towards, and I’m glad to be here.”

Thompson hasn’t yet won back his starting job. In the spring safeties coach Dave Merritt said Thompson and Andrew Adams would battle for the spot beside Landon Collins. But for the first day, Thompson was healthy enough to take part in that competition.

“I’m just taking it day by day,” Thompson said. “Just going in trying to see how I can improve my game.”

Being on the field is certainly a good improvement for now.

No Snacks for now

All-Pro defensive tackle Damon Harrison did not participate in the team’s first day of practice, working instead with trainers. Coach Ben McAdoo said Harrison is “sore” with a “lower body” injury.

“We’re starting slow with Snacks,” McAdoo said.

Harrison began last year’s training camp on PUP with swelling in his knees.

Giant steps

The Giants’ first practice of training camp was a bit anticlimactic. The team worked on the field for about 80 minutes and without any full-team drills that featured offense against defense. “We didn’t do a lot of heavy work today,” McAdoo said. “Dusted them off, really, football-wise and we will go in and take a look at it and we will go from there.” . . . LB J.T. Thomas, who missed most of 2016 with a torn ACL, was placed on PUP after a medical examination by the team on Thursday. He and RB Shaun Draughn (ankle) will remain there until cleared. McAdoo would not say how long that might take . . . Backup QB Geno Smith was cleared to practice and participated in Friday’s workout without a brace on the injured knee that sidelined him last season with the Jets. “No restrictions for Geno,” McAdoo said.

New York Sports