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Will Azeez Ojulari’s return spark the Giants’ defense?

Ojulari spoke after returning to the practice field on Sunday

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants had a rough day on Sunday’s practices. They had multiple players sidelined with injuries and another three leaving the field with fresh dings.

But despite all that, Giants fans got good news to start the day with the announcement that second year EDGE Azeez Ojulari would be taken off the Non-Football Injury list. And sure enough, Ojulari was out there on the field for the Giants’ final open practice.

“It feels good to be back with the team doing what I do best – what I love to do, the game of football. It felt good to be back with the team working,” Ojulari said after practice.

He added, “You know, it was tough missing time. Any time you’re missing time on the field it’s like, ‘dang.’ It’s what you do. You love the game, and you want to be out there. It’s tough when you miss time, but it’s God’s plan. Taking it day-by-day trying to get back right. Get back to 100 percent.”

What does Ojulari bring to the field? Left tackle Andrew Thomas was quick to note his explosiveness after practice. He said, “Azeez first has freak athleticism, good get-off on the ball, and he has pretty good length and then his power at the point of attack. He’s a good rusher, he mixes it up, so it makes it hard on tackles to figure out what he’s doing.”

Now that Ojulari is back on the field, the Giants will get to see their starting pass rushing duo in action with pads on. Ojulari, for one, is excited to get to work with his new teamate.

He said, “Definitely, for sure – because we’ve got that same energy, same motor. We’re definitely going to push each other and feed off of each other’s energy and just get after people.”

“We are just going to get it done every day,” Ojulari said. “We come in and compete. Do our job. Be where our feet are at. We are going to play hard no matter what. Dominate, try to dominate and just be us.”

“I feel like we’ve got a good group. Everybody likes to come in and compete every day. Come in, work hard, stay the course, keep the main thing the main thing. We try to push each other every single day. I feel like we’re going to be good.”

He added, “Haddy’s [Jihad Ward] bringing the energy. Kayvon, it’s just different. We feed off each other, and we’re just ready to ball.”

Thomas agreed with Ojulari’s assessment, saying “Definitely explosive, and not just those two. We’ve got a pretty good outside linebacker group right now. I’m excited to see what they do. It’s still early in training camp, but we definitely have some guys who can make some plays.”

For his part, Ojulari is getting to work on the practice field.

“I’m just going to keep going,” he said, “trying to work hard every day, trying to improve my game. Practice. What you do at practice turns out to what happens in a game. Just trying to lock in day-by-day. Just trying to improve my game day-by-day.”