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Giants’ Oshane Ximines takes next step in injury recovery

Oshane Ximines has a ways to go before fighting for his spot on the field.

While the Giants linebacker was activated off the physically unable to perform list before Monday’s practice, he was relegated to only individual drills and basic defense practice. Still rehabbing his hamstring injury, Ximines will have to wait to participate in team drills.

“I felt great to get back out, man,” Ximines said. “It’s been a long, long offseason trying to get back right. Today is just a first step in a long journey to be where I was.”

Ximines’ season ended after tearing his rotator cuff in November 2020, and he had to have surgery shortly thereafter. Last season, he notched one tackle for loss and three quarterback hits in four games — a far cry from the five tackles for loss, nine quarterback hits and 4.5 sacks Ximines recorded in his rookie season.

This season will be the 24-year-old’s first opportunity to truly play for Joe Judge’s staff. Still, Judge believes that Ximines can be an asset as he provides much-needed power and speed.

“In terms of holding the edge, playing with extension, shedding blocks, [Ximines] really plays more to his physical build which is really power and anchor at the point of attack,” Judge said. “He’s a guy that’s helped in the kicking game, too. He’s had roles on defense, so we’re looking to get him involved in everything we do.”

Oshane Ximines
Oshane Ximines (l.)
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

However, it’s unknown whether Ximines will be ready for action at the beginning of the season and his chances to return have become slimmer with rookie Azeez Ojulari’s addition.

Ojulari was arguably the best edge rusher in the SEC last season, leading the conference in sacks (8.5) and tackles for loss (12.5), and was tied for second in FBS with four forced fumbles.

“Coach Judge made it clear that this is gonna be a competitive camp,” Ximines said.

Lorenzo Carter has most likely taken one starting edge position, and now Ximines must go head-to-head with Ojulari — if he is even healthy enough to play.

“This is a day-to-day business. Nobody’s secure, ever. That’s nowhere in the NFL,” Ximines said. “So whatever they’re doing, they’re doing. … I’m going to work every day like I’ve always done and let the chips fall where they may.”

It sure sounds as if Judge wants Nate Ebner back with the Giants as soon as possible. Ebner, a special teams ace who is currently unsigned, was injured and had to pull himself off the U.S. Rugby Olympic team.

“The nature of Nate is, he doesn’t know how to slow down, so there was a point where he was kind of pushing and pushing his body and he had to make a decision at one point,’’ Judge said. “We’re looking forward to getting him and as soon as we get a chance to get him back. I’m anxious to see him back.’’

Do not expect many starters to be on the field for extended playing time, or perhaps any playing time, in Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Jets.

“The priority for me is to treat this more like a traditional Game 4 and when I say that, it’s more of a make sure all of the players that we really have to evaluate get an evaluation,’’ Judge said. “Because of the rules this year, we have to cut five guys after the Jets game. I want to make sure that we don’t make any decisions that impact our or their future without a proper evaluation.’’

The Giants’ all-white Color Rush uniforms were popular with fans and they will be worn at least twice this season, back-to-back in Week 11 at Tampa on “Monday Night Football” against the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers and in Week 12 at home against the Eagles. The Giants have an option to wear the Color Rush uniform a third time later in the season.


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