TODAY'S PAPER
38° Good Evening
38° Good Evening
SportsFootballGiants

Giants safety Jabrill Peppers closer to returning to game action

Jabrill Peppers of the Giants is injured in

Jabrill Peppers of the Giants is injured in the first quarter against the 49ers at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 27. Credit: Getty Images/Elsa

Giants safety Jabrill Peppers said he is continuing to monitor his ankle injury. Does that mean he will play against the Cowboys on Sunday? Neither the team nor Peppers was definitive Friday afternoon.

"I’ve been taking it day-by-day," Peppers said. He is listed as questionable on the injury report and was limited in practice. "The trainers got a good plan for me," he said. "I’m just sticking to the plan. It feels good to be back out there practicing with the guys, get moving around and get the blood flowing a little bit."

Peppers hurt his ankle trying to block a field goal on the opening drive of the Giants' Week 3 loss to the 49ers at MetLife Stadium. He did not play last week in a loss to the Rams. Peppers said he was encouraged that the injury didn’t appear more serious after his initial evaluation by team doctors.

"You always worry when something like that happens," he said. "But my MRI and my X-rays came back clean. So that kind of eased my mind a bit. But, like I said, it’s still a process. I listen to the trainers, get in there for my treatment, and continue with the process."

Peppers said his ankle felt ‘good,’ but would not elaborate further.

Giants coach Joe Judge said a major factor to Peppers’ game-day status will be whether or not he can further injure the ankle by playing. Peppers would not reveal what he’s been told by doctors in regards to that likelihood.

"To me, it’s a difference in tolerating pain, and that’s a player’s decision," Judge said. "Can he get hurt worse? If he can injure something worse, or any player can, that to me is when we have to step in as coaches and trainers and make a decision for him."

Even if Peppers does return to the defensive backfield, the team is taking a wait-and-see approach on his status as a punt returner. Peppers returned three punts in a Week 1 loss to Pittsburgh and one punt in the Week 2 loss to Chicago.

"We have to get back out there first," Peppers said of punt returning. "That’s where my main concern is."

Giants special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said that he isn’t concerned about Peppers hedging on his punt return status.

"It's a feel thing," McGaughey said Thursday. "You just never know with these things. Whenever he’s ready to go, he’ll hop in and, I promise you, he’ll let me know."

Despite their 0-4 record, the Giants still are in the mix in the lackluster NFC East. The Eagles lead the division at 1-2-1 and the Cowboys are 1-3, making Sunday a pivotal matchup as the second quarter of the season kicks off.

"We know there’s a lot of football left to be played," Peppers said. "We know the leader in our division is [within reach]. So, everything is pretty much up in the air."

Notes & quotes: The Giants placed LB Oshane Ximines (shoulder) on injured reserve, freeing up a roster spot for the potential return of LB David Mayo (knee) off the same list. Mayo began practicing with the team on Thursday. Ximines will miss at least the next three games . . . DB Adrian Colbert (neck) and LB Kyler Fackrell (neck) are both questionable . . . Cowboys LT Tyron Smith (neck) will have season-ending surgery, the team announced on Friday. That will leave them without three of their five starting offensive linemen. They already have placed RT La’el Collins (hip) on injured reserve and C Joe Looney (knee) will not play.

With Tom Rock

New York Sports