Only three New York Giants — guard Shane Lemieux (toe), offensive lineman Joshua Ezeudu (neck) and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (sprained MCL) — did not practice on Tuesday as the Giants prepared for Sunday’s game against the Washington Commanders.
Tight end Daniel Bellinger, who has not played since suffering a fractured eye socket Week 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, is “trending in the right direction,” Daboll said said.
“I’m optimistic for Belly,” Daboll added.
Jon Feliciano, who started the first 10 games at center before missing the Thanksgiving Day game against the Dallas Cowboys with a neck injury, is back to practice. Some combination of Feliciano, Ben Bredeson, who is designated to return from IR, and Nick Gates, will likely be at center and left guard.
Daboll did not commit on Tuesday to the alignment at those two spots.
“I would say relative to the guys coming back, there’s still a few days here. Let’s get through practice today; let’s go to the next day. I don’t want to make some split-second decision,” Daboll said. “I think that’s one of the reasons we’re going pads: Let’s work a little bit on the running game. Let’s get some of these guys back and see how they operate in contact stuff.”
Gates started at center against Dallas and was the team’s offensive player with the highest Pro Football Focus grade.
“He did okay,” Daboll said. “(There’s) some stuff he can do better, but he did a good job.”
Could Feliciano start at center on Sunday with Gates at left guard?
“I think we’d consider whatever we think is best,” Daboll said. “If we have a bunch of guys out here, we’ll roll them in and see how everyone operates.”
Daboll said Tuesday was the Giants’ first practice in pads since before facing the Houston Texans in Week 9.
“I think practicing in the things that you’re wearing (in a game) helps,” Daboll said. “Obviously, we’ve done a lot of it all the way up until now. You want to make sure you’re taking care of the players. They’re fresh; they’ve had a couple days off. So again, I think this was a good day to do it.”
Lemieux back on the shelf?
The news on Lemieux did not sound good.
Lemieux missed the first nine games of the season with turf toe and a fracture in his left big toe, which had to be surgically repaired. He played the first half Week 10 against the Detroit Lions — poorly — and is now sidelined again. He did not suit up vs. Detroit and is not currently practicing.
Daboll said Lemieux is having trouble with the same toe, and was uncertain how long he would be sidelined.
“I think we’re trying to be smart with him,” Daboll said. “I know he wants to be out here, but we’re trying to do right by the player, too.”
The Giants do not have to file an official injury report for this week’s game until Wednesday.