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Giants injury updates: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple express optimism

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants may not be at full strength this week against the undefeated Minnesota Vikings, especially in the secondary.

Three of their top five defensive backs are dealing with injuries. There is a strong possibility all may be out come Monday night.

Running back is another position to monitor. The Giants already lost veteran Shane Vereen (triceps) and placed him on injured reserve earlier in the week. That is in addition to starter Rashad Jennings trying to play through a thumb problem.

As the Giants reported for work in Week 4, here's where everything stood:

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (groin) -- He injured his groin when he broke on a play and overstretched his leg against the Redskins. Rodgers-Cromartie tried to play through it, but was unable to continue. He thinks there is a chance he can play this week against the Vikings.

"Definitely," he said. "It's a game we're going to need everybody."

The veteran cornerback said he's already started rehab, and has even done some light running. It's an injury he's never had before, but he thinks it's "not too bad." The key he believes is getting the affected area stronger. Right now it's compromised.

CB Eli Apple (hamstring) -- The rookie cornerback is taking it day by day after getting injured covering a punt on Sunday. Apple had his left leg wrapped Wednesday but insists it's improving. He was moving gingerly in the locker room and is unlikely to practice early in the week. The first-round pick hasn't resumed physical activity yet, and appears to be a longshot to be ready for Monday night in Minneapolis.

"It's getting better. I don't know about practice [Thursday]. We're going to have to take it day by day," he said. "With hamstrings you don't want to rush it too much and put too much pressure on it just yet."

RB Rashad Jennings (thumb) -- The Giants decided to keep Jennings out on Sunday rather than having him play with limitations. Jennings practiced last week with a small cast and wrap around his left thumb and wrist, and he's expected on the field when they return to work Thursday. Jennings says he's improving and is already several weeks ahead in his recovery. But he still would likely have to wear a small cast in order to play. It puts his status in doubt. The Giants should have a clear idea of where he stands by Friday.

OT Marshall Newhouse (calf) -- His foot remains in a boot as he tries to recover from a calf injury suffered against the New Orleans Saints. Newhouse missed Sunday's loss to the Redskins. Bobby Hart started in his place. Hart appears likely to start for a second consecutive week when the Giants play Monday night in Minnesota.

S Darian Thompson (foot) -- The rookie visited renowned foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson on Monday in North Carolina. The tests revealed it was not the dreaded Lisfranc tear that would've ruined his season. Thompson has a sprain and should remain out this week. His return will likely come in two or three weeks against the Ravens or Rams.

RB Shane Vereen (triceps) -- The versatile running back finished Sunday's loss to the Redskins with a torn triceps that was believed to have occurred on his second-quarter fumble. Vereen had surgery and the traditional timeline for a triceps tear is 3-6 months, depending on the severity. The Giants originally said he would be out for the season, before backing off in hope that Vereen can return late this year if the team were in the playoff hunt or qualified for the postseason.

DE Olivier Vernon (wrist) -- He's been dealing with a wrist injury that appears worse than they have let on. Vernon was limited against the Saints while wearing a bulky wrap that resembled a club. It was less cumbersome against the Redskins, but Vernon aggravated the injury on his third-quarter sack. He's going to practice and play this week, but the wrist is still bothersome.

DT Robert Thomas (illness) -- He hasn't played or practiced much since being claimed off waivers. But Thomas said last week he was feeling better and should return to the field this week. We'll see.