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Tackle Justin Pugh returns but at back of the line

Justin Pugh, right, tries to block defensive end

Justin Pugh, right, tries to block defensive end Adewale Ojomo during training camp. (Aug. 12, 2013) Credit: James Escher

Justin Pugh returned to practice Monday knowing that he has to make up some ground.

The first-round pick was competing for a starting job at right tackle and even taking reps with the first team when he suffered a concussion Aug. 1. He'd been sidelined since then -- missing two meetings, six practices and a preseason game -- but was cleared to return during the weekend and was on the field Monday at left tackle with the second unit.

"Obviously, missing the reps, that's something that's big," Pugh said. "I wish I could get those back but right now I've just got to go out there and play. I really can't control that now."

Pugh said it was his first concussion and that he had a headache and nausea from the injury.

Running back Ryan Torain also returned after suffering a concussion in practice last week. Offensive lineman James Brewer remained sidelined with his concussion.

Sash: 'I feel explosive'

Tyler Sash had an impressive start to the preseason with a tackle for a safety and a fumble recovery on a muffed punt in Saturday's win over the Steelers. Those two plays helped account for five points in a five-point victory. The third-year safety said offseason surgery to clean out both of his ankles is helping him perform. "I would say it's a pretty big difference from what it was last year compared to right now," he said. "I'm actually moving around a lot better, I feel better. I feel explosive, which is one thing that I didn't feel last year."

Giant steps

Jerry Reese may have a countdown to the Super Bowl, but Tom Coughlin's urgency is a little more immediate. "As of this morning, we had nine practices left [before the team is cut to 53 players]," the coach said after crossing that ninth one off the list Monday. "Can you imagine that? Nine practices. It's ridiculous." . . . DE Damontre Moore sat out practice with a shoulder contusion. Coughlin said the rookie is considered "day to day."

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