Giants tight end Evan Engram said the best part about returning from his concussion in Wednesday’s practice was not having to wear the red non-contact jersey that he’d donned earlier in the week.
“I hate that thing,” he said.
Engram was a full participant in Wednesday’s workout, having been cleared from the concussion protocol, with no indication that he’ll be anything but available for Sunday’s opener against the Jaguars. That was in question after he suffered the hit against the Jets on Aug. 24.
“I was in a daze,” he said. “But the trainers did a really good job assessing me and taking good care of me … It’s a blessing to be healthy and ready to go for Sunday.”
As for the other Giants starter with an injury worth monitoring, linebacker Olivier Vernon did not practice on Wednesday with what coach Pat Shurmur said is a high-ankle sprain. Although his return seems unlikely, Shurmur would he not rule Vernon out for Sunday just yet.
“From what I’ve seen, he seems to be a fast healer, but he’s working his way back,” Shurmur said. “He’s doing a good job of trying to get back.”
NEWCOMERS NAMED CAPTAINS
When the Giants began assembling their roster in the offseason, they wanted to change the culture of the locker room. Perhaps nothing illustrates that process more than the naming of the team’s six captains, half of whom are first-year Giants.
“It lets you know that the type of guys we tried to bring in were high-character, leadership-type guys,” said safety Michael Thomas, named a special teams captain.
Shurmur said he will meet regularly with the captains (Thomas, Eli Manning, Landon Collins and Zak DeOssie plus newcomers Nate Solder and Alec Ogletree) who were selected by their fellow players.
“They chose well,” Shurmur said. “We’re talking about guys that can be an extension of this team. I told them this morning, it’s going to be fun for me to watch your team work. They’ve got to take ownership of it and be an extension of me and our organization.”
Saquon Barkley hadn’t played enough in the NFL preseason to necessitate much film study on his four carries, but Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said he already knew quite a bit about the Giants’ rookie running back. “We all watched him coming out and that's what we look at,” Marrone said. “We have a total understanding for how great of a player he is.” … The Giants signed LB Nate Stupar and waived rookie RB Robert Martin … Shurmur did not directly say that Alex Tanney will be the No. 2 quarterback on Sunday, but said coyly: “I’m very fond of a veteran presence backing up.” The only other option would be rookie Kyle Lauletta … Giants LB Tae Davis (hamstring) did not practice, the only Giant other than Vernon on the injury report.