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Giants get good news on Olivier Vernon, injury front

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- If the New York Giants had held a practice on Friday, six injured players would have at least been limited participants. That qualifies as positive news heading into Sunday’s matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Linebacker B.J. Goodson (shin), running back Shane Vereen (calf) and right tackle Bobby Hart (ankle) weren’t even given an official injury designation for this week’s game. Goodson is expected to start at middle linebacker after missing two games.

Defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), running back Orleans Darkwa (back) and guard Brett Jones (hip) are all listed as questionable.

Linebacker Jonathan Casillas (ankle/wrist) wouldn’t have practiced Friday and is also questionable. He may be the biggest question mark heading into Sunday’s game. Casillas has not practiced at all this week.

Vernon and Darkwa hadn’t practiced either. The projection of them as limited participants on Friday was positive news. It appears both are on track to be ready for a crucial game against the Bucs. Vernon said Thursday that he was "coming along great."

The Giants (0-3) are looking for their first win this season. They do not practice on “Fresh Friday,” which serves as a recovery day. Instead, they have a walk-through and return Saturday for one final, short practice at about 85 percent.

“We had a couple guys if we would have practiced today would’ve been limited in practice,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “Again, we’ll have to take a look at guys [Saturday] and see how they get through practice.”

Jones was a mid-week addition to the injury report. He got sore Wednesday as practice wore on, according to McAdoo.

Jones started last week in Philadelphia with Hart sidelined. If Hart, who doesn’t have an official injury designation, is healthy the Giants could go back to their original starting offensive line with Justin Pugh back at left guard. Or the Giants may use Jones or D.J. Fluker at guard with Pugh at tackle for at least one more week.

“Certainly when Bobby gets healthy we’ll put him in the mix somewhere and we’ll see how it goes,” McAdoo said. “But every week is a new week.”