Giants won’t have Olivier Vernon after all

Olivier Vernon will miss yet another week.

The Giants had been optimistic about their $85 million linebacker making his season debut this week, but Vernon will miss his fifth consecutive game on Sunday at Carolina due to a sprained ankle.

“He had a very good week, he was close, but he was not quite close enough, so we backed off just a little bit to give him some rest,” coach Pat Shurmur said after Vernon didn’t participate in practice on Friday.

“I think you guys probably saw that he wasn’t out there with a helmet on, so that’s really what happened. … It was his best week, no setbacks, we just felt like here at the end of the week, because he did so much more, he was involved in team activities, just give him a little rest.”

Asked if he believes Vernon, who had practiced on a limited basis on Thursday, might suit up in Week 6 next Thursday night against Philadelphia, Shurmur added, “I am, I’m optimistic. I felt really good about this week, too, but we’ll just have to see.”

Either way, the Giants clearly miss Vernon’s ability as an edge rusher in their revamped 3-4 defensive scheme, with only five sacks through their 1-3 start.

“It’s like anybody who’s injured or somebody you might have on a team, when you can put a skilled player out there that can have an effect on a game, everyone wants that at every position,” linebackers coach Bill McGovern said.

“When he’s healthy and when he’s right and when he’s back on the field, we’re excited to have him. Obviously, he’s shown the ability to make plays, and you always want a playmaker out on the field.”

Second-year TE Evan Engram (knee) also remains out, but CB Eli Apple (groin) is expected to return after sitting out the past two games with a groin injury. Apple, DL Damon Harrison (knee), LB Connor Barwin (knee), CB Antonio Hamilton and WRs Sterling Shepard (back) and Cody Latimer (knee) were full participants in practice and are expected to play. … Tight end Greg Olsen (foot) is out for the Panthers.

Harrison was named the NFLPA’s Week 4 Community MVP after donating $20,000 toward recovery efforts for Hurricane Florence in North Carolina.