EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Believe it or not, there was a piece of good injury news Wednesday during the New York Giants second practice of mini-camp. Defensive end Robert Ayers, out since suffering an ankle injury in the first series of the first OTA, returned to the practice field on Wednesday.
Ayers took a full complement of first-team reps. Other than Ayers, the injury picture remained the same for the Giants. Odell Beckham (hamstring), Victor Cruz (knee), Larry Donnell (achilles), Nat Berhe (calf) and Devon Kennard (hamstring) did not practice.
Ayers said he felt "real rusty,' but that "It definitely feels good to be back out there with my team."
Ayers had the best season of his career in 2014, his first with the Giants after five with the Denver Broncos. He had five sacks in 12 games before a torn pectoral muscle ended his season.
"[The injury] wasn't that much of a big thing. I just knew I had to get it better and come into training camp a hundred percent," Ayers said. "I actually tried to stay in, but it was smart for me not to. I wish I could have been out there, but I took the time off and got it healed. Try to do something today and tomorrow and finish on a high note."
Here are some other things we learned at practice.
Giants going high tech
The Giants used a drone to record part of practice.
Tiny white spot at top of photo is a drone with a camera on it. pic.twitter.com/E12WTkWwJQ— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) June 17, 2015
Giants practice drone in repose: pic.twitter.com/ebe6LBuaPf— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) June 17, 2015
Giants.com has more on the use of the drone.
Don't mess with Herman's House
Guard Eric Herman and defensive tackle Dominique Hamilton were involved in a scuffle during 11-on-11 drills.
"We're fine," Herman said after practice. "What happens on the field stays on the field."
Players look nice in full uniforms
Many Giants players donned full uniforms after practice for media obligations, including the shooting of some ESPN promos. There is just something about those shoulder pads and the full uniform that gets your attention.
Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie each had interceptions today. From our vantage point we really couldn't see what happened on Amukamara's pick. Rodgers-Cromartie made a one-handed pick of a deep ball for Rueben Randle overthrown by the suddenly strong-armed Eli Manning. Manning overthrew Randle twice on Wednesday.
The Giants have been giving rookie left tackle Ereck Flowers extra reps with the second team to help get him ready. They appear to be doing the same thing now with young safeties Landon Collins and Cooper Taylor.
Dwayne Harris flashed a couple of the skill sets the Giants saw when they signed him to a five-year, $17.5 million contract. He showed excellent vision in finding a lane on a kickoff return and made an impressive sideline catch on a high throw from Ryan Nassib.
Randle drew whoops from his teammates when he caught a quick screen from Manning, juked cornerback Chykie Brown, and left him face first on the Quest Diagnostics Training Center turf.
Your Corey Washington note of the day. Manning threw Washington a back-shoulder fade in the end zone, and Washington went up over Amukamara to get it. Only this time Washington dropped it.
Linebacker J.T. Thomas flashed a couple of times. He filled a hole nicely early in practice to stop a run by Andre Williams. Later, he had a virtual sack of Nassib when he came on a blitz.
One more day
The final practice of mini-camp will be held Thursday morning. Players will then be off until training camp begins at the end of July.