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Giants TE Evan Engram confident he'll play Sunday against Falcons

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram runs

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram runs with a football during Giants training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Giants tight end Evan Engram was listed as questionable on Friday for Sunday’s game against Atlanta. But there doesn’t seem to be much question in Engram’s mind that he’s going to be able to make his season debut after missing the first two games with a calf injury.

"I had a great week of practice," Engram said Friday. "No setbacks, no soreness or anything, so I feel good."

Engram was having a strong training camp before he injured his calf in the final preseason game. The Giants decided not to place him on injured reserve, and Engram thought he could be back for the third game.

"I’ve had calf stuff before, so I knew it wasn’t terrible, but it definitely was a ‘good’ injury," he said. "We were planning on being smart with it and trying to treat it as much as possible, so when I get back there’s no worries, there’s no setbacks and there’s no holding back from anything.

"I had a great week, a really good recovery. Been doing really well with our trainers. They always do a good job. This week has been really fun back out there with the guys. It’s going to come down to the rest of today, tomorrow and then it’s up to [coach Joe Judge]. I feel good about it. I was just trying to get back as quick as possible. Obviously, I didn’t go on IR, so I was just doing everything I could to get better, recover and get back out on the field."

Judge, speaking before Friday's practice, said: "He had a pretty good day [Thursday]. We’ll have to see him move around today. I wouldn’t say it was a full load [Thursday] . . . We’ll see how he goes today. But he keeps making progress for us. That’s been a positive."

If Engram can play against the team he grew up rooting for in Powder Springs, Georgia, it would add another tight end target for quarterback Daniel Jones, who will be under the spotlight on Sunday as the Giants honor his predecessor, Eli Manning.

"I believe in DJ, we believe in DJ," Engram said. "We work all together. We’re a family, we’re brothers and everybody has a part in it. We’ve got to do our job to put him in positions to win and to succeed so it’s not all on him. It’s a team effort, it’s an offensive effort and we’ve got to go out there and play together. It’s that simple."

Among the tight ends, Kyle Rudolph had four catches for 33 yards and Kaden Smith had two for 24 yards during the Giants’ 0-2 start.

Last season, Engram had 63 catches for 654 yards and one touchdown. He was hoping for a fast start in 2021.

"It’s always frustrating not to be out there fighting with my brothers, but stuff happens," he said. "It wasn’t in my control. All I could control was how fast I can get back. Obviously, it sucked not being out there. It was killing me, honestly, but definitely just trying to get back and get out there."

Also listed as questionable: wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hip) and safety Nate Ebner (quad). Linebacker Cam Brown (hamstring) is out.

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