Olivier Vernon’s status was less certain Thursday for a possible season debut against the Saints.
There was optimism on Wednesday when Vernon (high left ankle sprain) was limited but practiced for the first time since his Aug. 26 injury. While Vernon again was a limited participant Thursday, he seemed to do even less in the early part of practice open to the media.
That could be an indication that Vernon’s ankle did not respond well to Wednesday’s work. That is always what is most important: not the day a player tests an injury, but the day after.
Vernon consulted the training staff frequently in the early part of practice and didn’t do much.
At his locker during pre-practice media availability, Vernon said he’s taking the injury “day-by-day.” He said, “you never want to be on the sidelines, so that speaks for itself right there. But all I can do is get myself right.”
Vernon has played through pain before. He played through a broken wrist for most of the 2016 season, his first as a Giant, and gutted out at least a full quarter in Philly last season through a bad ankle sprain. But he wouldn’t say if this extended an absence is his call or the staff’s.
“Honestly you have to ask Coach Shurmur for that one,” Vernon said, repeating a line he has leaned on frequently this season. “But all I could do is be out there (for practice) and when I’m out there healthy and just go from there.”
Vernon alluded in Week 3 to the fact that he’d be fined for divulging injury information.
“Now you’re getting it,” Vernon said then.
APPLE SHOWS PROGRESS
Starting outside corner Eli Apple (groin) returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday after sitting out the Week 3 win in Houston and not practicing on Wednesday. LB Connor Barwin (knee) and CB Antonio Hamilton (groin) returned on a limited basis, too, while return specialist Stacy Coley (hamstring) was added to the injury report as limited.
DT Damon Harrison (knee), WR Cody Latimer (knee), RB Jonathan Stewart (foot) sat out practice for a second straight day, though Shurmur continued to assure that those three only were experiencing normal wear and tear and did not seem worried about their status. TE Evan Engram (right knee MCL sprain) is out an estimated 3-4 weeks.
Saints rookie defensive end Marcus Davenport (hip) was a late-week addition as a New Orleans player who had practiced Wednesday but sat out Thursday.