One month to the day after he was struck by a bullet in a shooting that killed his best friend, New York Giants rookie cornerback Corey Ballentine took team reps for the first time today at the team’s fourth OTA session.
Ballentine was shot in the leg April 28 in his home state of Kansas in an incident that took the life of roommate Dwane Simmons. Ballentine had been selected by the Giants in the sixth round of the NFL draft the day before.
It was just a week ago that Ballentine was not even outdoors with the team during the start of OTAs. Then he started doing some work with trainers, some individual drills, all of which led to Tuesday’s debut in 11-on-11 snaps. He lined up with the third-string defense, his performance unremarkable except for the backstory from the past 30 days.
“He’s doing what he can do,” Pat Shurmur said. “He looked good moving around and he’s getting better each day.”
He stretched and went through drills early in practice and spent most of the workout as a spectator. It wasn’t until late in the on-field portion of the event that Ballentine lined up with his teammates for the first time.
Ballentine was said to be closer to working soon and the team was not going to rush him. Today was a positive step in the Washburn product’s recovery.
The Giants have a glut of young talent at cornerback with rookies Ballentine, Deandre Baker and Julian Love joining veteran Janoris Jenkins and second-year players Sam Beal and Grant Haley.