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Giants’ rookies Aaron Robinson, Elerson Smith will return to practice this week

Robinson has been on PUP, Smith on IR; Team will have three weeks to activate the two players

NFL: New York Giants Rookie Minicamp
Aaron Robinson works during rookie mini-camp.
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants’ struggling defense might soon be getting some reinforcements. Head coach Joe Judge on Monday said rookie Aaron Robinson, a cornerback, and Elerson Smith, an edge defender, will begin practicing this week.

Robinson, who has had a core muscle injury, has been on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. He has not practiced with the team since rookie mini-camp. The Giants traded up from No. 76 to No. 71 in the third to select the 6-foot-1, 193-pound Robinson. He played collegiately at Central Florida.

Smith, a fourth-round pick (No. 116 overall), injured a hamstring during rookie workouts right before the official start of training camp. Aside from participating in a few training camp walk-through practices, he has been sidelined since.

Once the Giants officially designate the two players to return they will have 21 days to decide whether to activate them or place them on IR for the remainder of the season. Considering how much time both players have missed, it would not be a surprise if the Giants use all or most of that time before adding Robinson and Smith to the 53-man roster.

Judge also confirmed a report from earlier on Monday that the Giants are signing veteran linebacker Benardrick McKinney to their practice squad. A second-round pick by the Houston Texans in 2015, McKinney had compiled more than 100 tackles three times in his career.

McKinney missed all but four games last season after suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. After six years with the Texans, McKinney signed with the Miami Dolphins in the offseason. He was released when final roster cuts were made at the end of August.

Injury updates

Judge said that left tackle Andrew Thomas suffered an ankle injury unrelated to the foot injury he was already dealing with. He said the ankle is one side, the foot on the other. Judge said that Thomas was being evaluated Monday by the doctors.

Judge said that Kadarius Toney “aggravated his ankle” and was also getting tests done on Monday.