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Giants Training Camp, 8/14: Cruz returns for a while, other takeaways

What happened when the Giants returned to the practice field for the first time since Friday night's game?

William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday marks the last public practice of the New York Giants 2016 training camp, and Monday will be the last practice of camp -- and only open to season ticket holders.

Practice opened with good news as the Giants got four players back from injury, and it was a busy practice in the August heat. Let's take a look at the biggest notes and takeaways from camp's penultimate practice.

Victor Cruz Returns To Practice

Anyone who expected Victor Cruz's return from his knee and calf injuries to be a smooth one was probably fooling themselves. That number, however, never did include Cruz himself.

He always expected his return to be a "roller coaster ride", and the news of his groin injury was just another hill in the ride where the bottom seemed to drop out of your stomach. He insisted all along that the injury wasn't a major one -- by now he'd know -- and he would return to the field soon. "Soon" so happened to be the Giants first practice following their first preseason game.

It was first speculated that Cruz would only participate in individual drills, but he also took part in punt return drills and 7-on-7 drills, as well as limited participation in 11-on-11 drills. The Giants' plan still seems to be to take it  slow with Cruz's return to the field.

After practice, Ben McAdoo said Cruz's groin was still bothering him.

Cruz was one of four players to return to practice, as Sterling Shepard and Keenan Robinson also returned from groin injuries, and Jay Bromely was activated off the PUP list.

Sterling Shepard not only returned to practice, but he got more work than the Giants intended.

Several Giants Don't Practice

While the Giants got several players back from injury who they hope will be key contributors, there were still some who didn't practice.

Headlining the list is first round pick Eli Apple. Apple suffered a lower leg strain in Friday night's exhibition game against the Dolphins. He had an MRI performed, which came back clean, and the injury doesn't appear to be serious.

Hopefully Apple will return to the field soon, but the Giants seem to be taking their time with every injured player. Likewise, wide receiver Geremy Davis, who has had a terrific summer and was the Giants' leading receiver Friday night, suffered a strained hamstring. That too is believed to be mild.

H-Back Will Johnson suffered a stinger in Friday night's game and was held out of practice as well.

Defensive end Kerry Wynn didn't practice as well, and linebacker J.T. Thomas remains on the PUP list with an injured hamstring.

Rookies Making Waves And Moving Up

The Giants rookies put on a strong showing against the Miami Dolphins. Eli Apple, Sterling Shepard, Darian Thompson, BJ Goodson, Greg Milhouse, Romeo Okwara, Donte Deayon, and Paul Perkins all played well in the Giants' first preseason game -- though Perkins was involved with a fumble on a botched hand-off.

Apple, Shepard, Thompson, and Milhouse have already seen time with the first and second teams, but now it seems that Deayon and Perkins are joining them as well.

Ben McAdoo said at various times throughout the off-season and training camp that the Giants would be throwing their rookies into the fire and not be afraid to rely on them. He's giving them the chance to prove themselves.