Shane Vereen was on the practice field on Wednesday for the first time since he suffered a triceps injury in Week 3, designating him as the one player the Giants can have return from injured reserve this season.
The team now has up to 21 days to add Vereen to the active 53-man roster, but barring a setback, it’s not expected to take that long. It’s been reported that the Giants are eyeing next week’s game against the Cowboys on Dec. 11 for Vereen’s return to game action.
So what does a healthy Vereen give the Giants?
Some depth at running back, for one. They have gone with just Rashad Jennings and rookie Paul Perkins for the last few weeks, and Orleans Darkwa was put on IR with a leg injury on Tuesday.
Vereen gives them another threat in the passing game. Even if it’s not one the Giants will use, it’s something opponents have to prepare for and it should ease up the coverages on the wide receivers.
And he provides an alternative to Dwayne Harris or Bobby Rainey on kickoff returns.
Two Giants were not present for the early part of practice on Wednesday because of injuries: Nat Berhe and Mark Herzlich are in the concussion protocol.
Justin Pugh, Marshall Newhouse and Brett Jones all stretched with the team. Pugh and Newhouse had large braces on their injured knees and Jones had a sleeve on his injured calf.
Jason Pierre-Paul, who did not practice last week and wound up registering three sacks plus a defensive touchdown, was on the field on Wednesday . . . sort of. He spent most of the stretch in bare feet and only put on his socks and cleats toward the end of media availability. He does not appear on the team’s pre-practice injury report.
Pierre-Paul, by the way, was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week. He’s the first Giants player with at least three sacks and a touchdown in the same game since George Martin on Nov. 24, 1985, and the first NFL player to accomplish the feat since Dallas’ Demarcus Ware on Jan. 2, 2011.
It is Pierre-Paul’s fourth Player of the Week honor and first since 2013. Only Lawrence Taylor (9) and Michael Strahan (5) have more in team history.
Pierre-Paul’s honor along with Landon Collins’ two Player of the Week nods earlier this season give the Giants one quarter of the 12 weekly defensive awards that have been handed out in the NFC this season.