Despite a vast amount of uncertainty surrounding Giants tight end Kyle Rudolph (foot surgery) just last week, the 11-year veteran took a huge step in the recovery process on Sunday prior to his team’s Week 2 preseason matchup with the Cleveland Browns.
During pregame warmups, Rudolph was spotted running routes for the first time this summer, with his new quarterback Daniel Jones throwing passes to him. And this is a big deal because Rudolph, who is on the PUP list after undergoing offseason foot surgery, had yet to even begin doing side work at practice with the training staff until Thursday, August 19.
Following the Giants’ 17-13 loss to the Browns on Sunday, August 22, head coach Joe Judge was optimistic about Rudolph’s status moving forward.
“He had a good week this week at rehab. When I talked to him with the medical team, it’s optimistic that there may be a chance coming up to get off [the PUP list],” Judge told reporters on Sunday. “Again, that is an individual basis so we will see what the medical team says on that and see if we can get him out there with the team working.”
Although this is a promising sign for Rudolph, the clock is ticking, as the Giants must activate him from the PUP list by August 31 when they trim their roster down to 53 players ahead of the regular season. If Rudolph remains on the PUP list by then, he will be forced to miss the first six games of the season.
After the Giants agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal with Rudolph in free agency back in March, they discovered that he would need surgery on his foot following his physical with the team. This same foot caused him to miss the final four games of the 2020 season. However, the Giants opted to honor their agreement, as their team doctors expected Rudolph to be ready by Week 1.
While Rudolph’s rehab has come along a bit slower than initially anticipated, it appears as though he is getting closer to being back on the field with the Giants.
Banged up Skill Players
Beyond Rudolph, two more important Giants’ skill players have dealt with injuries during camp as well.
Wide receivers’ Kenny Golladay (hamstring) and Kadarius Toney (undisclosed injury) have struggled to stay on the field, which has taken away valuable reps that would help them become acclimated in the Giants’ system.
And at this point, it appears as though Rudolph will beat the latter two back from the shelf, as it looks like he is nearing a return.
Along with this banged up trio, running back Saquon Barkley is on the mend after tearing his ACL and MCL last season, but is trending in the right direction as well.
One name who has been turning heads this summer is wide receiver David Sills.
After hauling in three catches for 49 yards, including a 37-yard reception in the Giants’ first preseason game with the Jets, Sills was back at it again on Sunday versus the Browns.
Sills recorded four receptions for 31 yards, while catching an eight-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to bring the Giants within a point of Cleveland.
The 25-year-old continues to make a strong case for himself to crack the 53-man roster, and while his ability to play gunner on special teams would certainly dethrone fellow wideout C.J. Board, Cam Brown impressed at this position in Sunday’s game, which could help clear up a spot for Sills after all.
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