Jabrill Peppers was not in the mood.
Was there any specific reason Peppers, at the podium on Wednesday after practice, responded to repeated questions with clipped, one-sentence answers?
“No, not really,” he said.
Peppers is one of the Giants’ seven team captains and one of their most emotional players. This season has been a downer for him. Individually, his playing time is reduced and his performance has sagged. As far as the team, the Giants are 1-5 heading into Sunday’s game against the Panthers.
Asked to assess the first practice after the Week 6 rout by the Rams, Peppers said, “We came out well.” Asked about being so far out of the NFC East race, Peppers said, “Nobody cares about that. We’ve got a job to do. We come out here and do it.”
Asked about the level of urgency around the team, Peppers said, “There’s always been a level of urgency. You just have to take it up a couple of notches.”
Asked if he is disgusted about this season, Peppers said, “I’m just motivated to play better and get this thing turned around.”
Expansive, he was not.
The NFL trade deadline is Nov. 2. The Giants could be active, especially if they lose the next two games, dumping players in a lost season. Peppers is not expected to get dealt, but, given his regression this season, you never know.
Does he want to stay with the Giants?
“I just want to win, baby,’’ he said. “I want to make plays, go out there and win ballgames.’’
Rookie CB Aaron Robinson was on the field participating in practice. It is only a matter of time before he comes off injured reserve, is activated to the roster and makes his NFL debut. That will not be this weekend, though, as there is too much ground to make up for the third-round pick from Central Florida.
“We’ll see how he moves around,” coach Joe Judge said. “We haven’t really had an opportunity to see this guy going full tilt since he’s been here.”
RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) and WR Kenny Golladay (knee) were not on the field for practice. Neither player is expected to play Sunday.
“No hard timelines and no one really being eliminated at this point,” Judge said.
Also not practicing: WR Kadarius Toney (ankle), LB Azeez Ojulari (not injury related), WR John Ross (hamstring), TE Kaden Smith (knee). Three players were limited: OL Ben Bredeson (hand), DL Danny Shelton (pectoral), WR Darius Slayton (hamstring).
With Andrew Thomas on injured reserve and set to miss at least the next three games, the Giants are in need of help at offensive tackle, at least as far as depth. They have Isaiah Wilson, a 2020 first-round pick of the Titans, on the practice squad, but he is not close to getting a promotion. Wilson, listed at 330 pounds, was not in shape when he arrived and is working on his conditioning. Wilson was not at practice Wednesday because of an illness.
“I’d say he’s a hard worker, he’s a smart guy,’’ Judge said. “He’s got a little ways to go, but he’s doing a good job working.’’