Giants CB Eli Apple has a chance to return Sunday, but it may be slim

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants rookie cornerback Eli Apple was back practicing Thursday for the first time since injuring his hamstring while covering a punt against the Washington Redskins in Week 3. The first-round pick missed Monday night’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Apple was a limited participant in practice Thursday, three days prior to the Giants facing the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night at Lambeau Field. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (groin) also was limited.

The Giants needed some good news from their banged-up secondary. Safeties Nat Berhe (concussion) and Darian Thompson (foot) haven’t practiced this week and seem likely to miss the matchup against All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers-Cromartie appears to have the best shot at returning. He was active on Monday night, albeit in an emergency role. Trevin Wade started and struggled with Apple and Rodgers-Cromartie sidelined.

Apple said he worked in position and individual drills Thursday at about 85 percent. He did not partake in team drills as he tries to ease his way back given the sensitive nature of the injury.

“Taking it each day, trying to be a little cautious,” Apple said. “Of course you hear it all the time, guys come back too fast and they tweak [the hamstring] even more. That is how it gets worse. The tweak is probably worse than the initial injury. So you don’t want to do that.

“You want to be prepared, do everything they tell you to do in the training room and take it day by day, cautious.”

Apple didn’t exactly seem sold he’d be back this week. Next week, when the Giants host the Baltimore Ravens, seems more realistic.

“I’m still a little bit confident [about Green Bay],” he said. “But once again, it’s not all up to me.”

The Giants will have a more accurate picture of the secondary come Saturday, when they hold their final practice of the week before traveling to Green Bay.

Full Giants injury report for Thursday:

Did not practice

TE Larry Donnell (concussion)

RT Marshall Newhouse (calf)

S Darian Thompson (foot)

S Nat Berhe (concussion)

Limited participant

RB Rashad Jennings (thumb)

DE Olivier Vernon (wrist)

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (groin)

CB Eli Apple (hamstring)