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Giants teammates believe Jason Pierre-Paul will adjust to playing without index finger

Tom Coughlin, Giants head coach, spoke with media after training camp began on July 31, 2015 at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Credit: Newsday / Tim Nwachukwu)

Jason Pierre-Paul has not arrived at Giants training camp, but when he does, his teammates on the defensive line believe he'll be ready to play -- even without his index finger.

"I played about five or six games in college with a ball on my hand," defensive end Robert Ayers Jr. said of a cast he wore for a broken bone at Tennessee. "I'm pretty sure he can play without a finger . . . It's not the end of the world. It's something he'll have to adjust to it, but I don't imagine it stopping him from being the JPP that we've grown to see."

Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins also played with a cast on his hand while he was with the Packers early in his career.

"Once I got past the first couple of weeks with that club, it was kind of fun," Jenkins said. "I think he'll be able to adjust."

Cruz moves well

Victor Cruz looked sharp in his first practice since tearing his patellar tendon in October, even when he wasn't at his most graceful. Halfway through Friday's workout, he tried to catch a crossing pass from Eli Manning, lunged and wound up falling to the ground. After a moment of hesitation by Cruz -- and just about everyone at practice -- he popped up and continued his reps.

"It was definitely a good thing," Cruz said of the tumble. "Obviously, you never want to be tackled and potentially be hurt. But the fact that I went down pretty hard and was able to get up and there was no pain, nothing was wrong and got back up and kept it moving. I think that was a good thing to kind of gauge the knee and how everything was feeling and to be able to go from there."

Said Tom Coughlin: "He actually went on the ground one time and felt good about doing that. So that's one hurdle."

Giant steps

Coughlin confirmed that the Giants will sign veteran receiver James Jones. They waived rookie receiver Ben Edwards, who originally was expected to start the season on PUP, to make room . . . Manning had no update on negotiations for a contract extension and seemed oblivious to the four-year, $87.6-million deal Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson signed. "I'm not into the comparisons about how much money you make," he said. "That's not my concern." When asked why he has not set a deadline for negotiations, Manning shrugged. "Haven't thought of it.". . . Coughlin enjoyed a catch by Odell Beckham Jr. in which he darted between defensive backs with a series of cuts. "I liked it," he said, "and I'd like to see a lot more of it."

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