Gi­ants mini camp ends with hel­met-swing­ing scuf­fle

The Record (Troy, NY) - - SPORTS - By Tom Cana­van

EASTRUTHERFORD, N.J. » Pat Shur­mur’s first mini­camp with the New York Gi­ants nearly had an ugly end­ing when high-priced left tackle Nate Solder tweaked a knee af­ter be­ing bumped dur­ing a hel­met-swing­ing scuf­fle be­tween de­fen­sive tackle Da­mon Har­ri­son and rookie guard Will Her­nan­dez.

Solder, who signed a four-year, $62 mil­lion con­tract in March, walked away from the fight on the third and final day of the mini­camp on Thurs­day and sat on the grass af­ter Har­ri­son and Her­nan­dez were sep­a­rated.

Head trainer Ron­nie Barnes ex­am­ined Solder, and the for­mer Pa­triot got up and tested the knee that seemed to be bumped by Her­nan­dez dur­ing the al­ter­ca­tion with Har­ri­son.

Solder and Shur­mur later said it was OK, but it could have been a lot worse. Com­ing off a 3-13 sea­son, the Gi­ants can’t af­ford to

have their high­est-priced free agent hurt in a mini­camp where play­ers are prac­tic­ing in shorts and no pads.

Both play­ers were taken out of the drills, and Shur­mur talked to the 29-yearold Har­ri­son, who swung Her­nan­dez’s hel­met at the rookie af­ter a run­ning play.

“It has been very com­pet­i­tive the whole camp,” Shur­mur said. “There are cer­tain things we cer­tainly can’t do. We got it set­tled down. When scuf­fles break like that, in that sit­u­a­tion, we just take them out of the prac­tice and let them cool off.”

Shur­mur said hel­met swing­ing both­ered him. Her­nan­dez wasn’t shy, either. He threw punches at Har­ri­son.

“Snacks is a very com­pet­i­tive guy and Will Her­nan­dez is very com­pet­i­tive out there,” Shur­mur said. “They just kind of butted heads.”

Solder down­played the scuf­fle, say­ing he was fine.

Nei­ther Har­ri­son nor Her­nan­dez was avail­able af­ter prac­tice to talk about the in­ci­dent.

“We just have to fo­cus on get­ting bet­ter, we have to play bet­ter foot­ball, we have to be a strong unit on the of­fen­sive line, and we have to do what we can con­trol,” said Solder, who pro­tected the blind side of Pa­tri­ots’ quar­ter­back Tom Brady for seven years be­fore sign­ing with New York. “Those things are bat­tles, they hap­pen, emo­tions rise, and you work through it and move on.”

Gi­ants play­ers will be on their own un­til the end of July, when train­ing camp opens.

“We’ve talked to them about all the work that we’ve done to this point, and with five weeks to go, it’s not time off, it’s time away,” Shur­mur said. “So, to con­tinue with their prepa­ra­tion, we’re al­ways talk­ing to them about be­ing a good cit­i­zen, and we say New York Gi­ants pride for a rea­son. So, be very smart. Be good hus­bands, good fa­thers and be good cit­i­zens.”

Shur­mur said that rook­ies, quar­ter­backs and se­lected vet­er­ans will re­port to train­ing camp on July 22. The rest of the team will ar­rive later in that week.

Shur­mur, who re­placed the fired Ben McA­doo, also re- con­firmed that the Gi­ants will prac­tice with the Lions for a cou­ple of days be­fore their pre­sea­son game on Aug. 17 in Detroit.

ADAM HUNGER — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New York Gi­ants head coach Pat Shur­mur, right, walks off the field as­sis­tant gen­eral nan­ager Kevin Abrams, left, and se­nior vice pres­i­dent, com­mu­ni­ca­tions Pat Han­lon af­ter the team’s NFL foot­ball prac­tice, Tues­day in East Ruther­ford, N.J.

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