EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — New York Giants tight end Evan Engram is tired of listening to people talk about his talent, potential and, of course, his injuries.
In three seasons, the 2017 first-round draft pick has missed 14 games with knee, foot, hamstring problems.
“I am really in the now,” Engram said Monday after practice. “Last year is last year. I am just blessed to be healthy right now, to be back on the field with my guys. Like I said, each day is an opportunity to empty the tank. I am not going to take that for granted.”
Engram got off to a phenomenal start last season, making 23 catches for 277 yards and two touchdowns in the first three games. The tight end who has receiver-type speed coupled with blocking ability was living up to the expectations.
Then the injuries came. He sprained a knee against Minnesota and missed a game against New England four days later. He played in the next three games, but sustained a mid-foot sprain against Dallas on Oct. 6 and missed the rest of the season and eventually had surgery. His totals for eight games were 44 catches for 467 yards and three touchdowns. The games, catches and yards were all career lows.
Engram worked hard to rehabilitate his foot and he has hit the field running in training camp for new coach Joe Judge. He is blocking. He going deep to catch passes and he has been giving the linebackers and safeties fits on short patterns.
Judge loves watching Engram practice.
“It’s always a question of can this guy reach his potential based on the way he’s working,” Judge said. “I think this guy can. Knowing what time this guy has got, he has a high ceiling. He’s very, very talented. A lot of guys have a lot of talent and aren’t as open to coaching. What I see from Evan is, he’s very in-tune, he’s very intelligent, he’s very deliberate about how he works and what he’s focusing on within each period. He listens to everything you say.”
Engram insists he is not worried about his statistics. His focus is on becoming a better leader, teammate and a football player.
“I am basically going to come in and do what I am asked every day, that’s being a complete football player, being physical in the run game and being dynamic and flexible in the pass game,” the soon-to-be 26-year-old said. “We have a lot of talent on this team. I just have to come in and do my part and continue working as a unit and be successful on Sundays.”
NOTES: The Giants worked out for more than two hours and several players left the field with cramps, including rookie guard Shane Lemieux. Veterans Spencer Pulley and safety Jabrill Peppers also left early, Judge said. ... Third-year LB Devante Downs has been making progress in camp and been getting some reps with the top defense. He spent most of last season on the roster but did not contribute much. ... LB Blake Martinez looked good in coverage, knocking down a deep pass to Saquon Barkley. ... First-year WR Alex Bachman keeps making big plays. ... DL coach Sean Spencer has got his unit raising hands to knock down passes. It had a couple in last week's scrimmage.
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