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Giants’ running back Rashad Jennings expects to return to practice Thursday

Rashad Jennings of the New York Giants celebrates

Rashad Jennings of the New York Giants celebrates after a victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 11, 2016. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Tom Pennington

Giants running back Rashad Jennings said his injured thumb is feeling much better and he expects to fully practice with the team on Thursday.

Jennings, who missed Sunday’s loss to the Redskins, said he will leave all major decisions up to the team’s medical staff, but he feels like he can play Monday in Minnesota.

“Absolutely,” Jennings said. “I’m going to go out there, practice hard, show where I’m at and hopefully be ready to rock this week.”

The Giants will certainly need Jennings because Shane Vereen was placed on injured reserve this week after injuring his triceps against the Redskins. Vereen, who currently leads the team with 147 yards rushing, isn’t expected back until mid-November at the earliest.

“Shane is somebody that you can’t replace,” Jennings said. “We do have guys that can get the job done, that’s 100 percent. He’s special. He can do a lot. He makes defensive coordinators adjust when he’s on the football field. You have to respect everything when he’s out there. Again, you can’t replace him as a player but you can fill in those spots with the players we have.”

Eli: Odell not a distraction

Eli Manning said he hasn’t talked to Odell Beckham Jr. since Sunday to find out what made him so upset on the sideline at Giants Stadium.

“Haven’t made an issue of it,” Manning said.

Manning brushed off the notion that Beckham had become a distraction on the sideline.

“No. I don’t think it has reached that point,” he said. “We don’t want to create it. He’s an emotional player. He plays hard, he wants to win. He wants to go out there. There are times where guys can get fired up on the sidelines when stuff happens . . . again, I’m not worried about it. I think he’s making plays and doing a lot of good things. He’ll continue to do that.”

Giant steps

Rookie cornerback Eli Apple said his hamstring is getting better, but wasn’t sure whether he would be able to practice on Thursday. “We are going to have to take it day-by-day,” said Apple, who left the Washington game with the hamstring injury. “With a hamstring injury, you don’t want to rush it too much and put too much pressure on it yet. But you just have to take it day-by-day and see what happens.” . . . Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who left the Washington game with a groin injury, said he feels good, but his status is day-to-day. “It’s something that heals on its own, in time,” Rodgers-Cromartie said.

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