By Ryan Dunleavy
Leave it to the official injury report to throw cold water on Kayvon Thibodeaux’s optimism.
One day after Thibodeaux said he was “confident” that he could make his Giants debut Sunday, the rookie first-round pick was listed as doubtful (MCL sprain) to play against the Panthers. Fellow edge rusher Azeez Ojulari (calf) also is listed as doubtful.
Both players worked with trainers off to the side of practice during Friday’s viewing period, which is a strong indication that the Giants likely will be without their starting duo for a second straight game.
Receiver Kadarius Toney (hamstring) is listed as questionable but was not in a red no-contact jersey and appeared to move well running routes. He participated in some but not all of team practice periods Thursday – when the hamstring he injured during training camp “tightened up,” according to head coach Brian Daboll – and he was first added to the injury report.
“Every guy that’s injured, we have to do a good job as a staff – starting with our medical and strength staff – of determining where that player is,” Daboll said. “And if they can do something that can help us as a team, we can have different plans for that particular player – how many reps or what package we put them in or what down we put them in.”
The Giants will be without rookie second-round receiver Wan’Dale Robinson (knee), cornerbacks Aaron Robinson (appendicitis) and Nick McCloud (hamstring), and safety Jason Pinnock (shoulder). McCloud was the Giants-named Special Teams Player of the Week for his work as a punt gunner.
To make up for shortages, it is likely the Giants will elevate safety Tony Jefferson and cornerback Fabian Moreau from the practice squad.