Eli Manning
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Eli Manning’s sharpness and Corey Ballentine’s superb play were two of the takeaways at New York Giants practice on Saturday.

Jason Leach

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—The New York Giants were back on the practice field in pads on Saturday to wrap up their second week of training camp, before their day off on Sunday.

Prior to practice, head coach Pat Shurmur spoke about what he was expecting to see on the practice field on Saturday.

“We’ll get a good padded practice this afternoon. Move the ball period in there, not unlike you’ve seen already. Just hacking our way through training camp. I think the guys are handling it pretty well. I look forward to having a good day.”

One of the players who enjoyed a good day on Saturday was sixth-round draft pick (180th overall) Corey Ballentine.

Ballentine has been solid throughout training camp, but Saturday may have been his best practice. For the second time in camp, he intercepted Daniel Jones in the end zone and also broke up a pass in the middle of the field that was intended for Alonzo Russell. He also knocked down receiver T.J. Jones towards the end of practice, an act the offensive players did not take too kindly.

It’s clear that Ballentine is one of the players shining the brightest during training camp and somebody you need to keep an eye on when the Giants play the Jets in the preseason opener on Thursday.

Other news and notes

Sterling Shepard is good to go

There were concerns that Sterling Shepard may not be available for Week 1 after he fractured his left thumb on the first day of training camp last week. But after seeing Shepard on the practice field on Saturday, those concerns should be put to rest.

Shepard is a full participant in receiver drills and participated in team drills while wearing a yellow jersey. He was even fielding punts along with Golden Tate and T.J. Jones. Barring a major setback, Shepard will be on the field Week 1 at Dallas.

Manning was sharp, Jones struggled

It was business as usual on Saturday as far as the quarterbacks are concerned. Eli Manning took all of the first-team reps, Jones worked with the second team, while Alex Tanney worked with the third team and Kyle Lauletta fourth string.

Manning was sharp in practice while Jones struggled at times, including overthrowing a wide-open Alonzo Russell deep down the left sideline. Jones, Tanney and Lauletta should all get several series against the Jets on Thursday.

Is Latimer the kick returner?

Cody Latimer, who has had a solid camp catching the ball, was the primary returner during kickoff drills. Latimer will have a more prominent role in the offense this season especially with Golden Tate’s four-game suspension looming. It will be interesting to see if Latimer sees time as a returner during the preseason.

No X-Man

One player that was held out of drills on Saturday was third-round pick outside linebacker Oshane Ximines. Shurmur stated that it’s nothing serious and that Ximines was just dealing with a little bit of leg soreness and that he’ll be fine.

Backup right tackle Chad Wheeler was held out of drills, but it’s believed to be due to maintenance as Shurmur said earlier in camp that from time to time he’ll give players a day off.

Big Blue will be back on the practice field Monday as they prepare to take on the Jets on Thursday night for the preseason opener.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.