If Ahmad Bradshaw wants to play on Sunday, his first big test will take place today.

The Giants' running back is expected to participate in today's practice, his first on-field work since spraining his knee two weeks ago against the Saints, with a chance to show the coaches and trainers that he'll be ready for the Ravens.

"Hopefully we'll see what it's like," Tom Coughlin said yesterday. "If we can get some snaps, we'll be able to tell better."

Bradshaw has been outspoken this week in saying he expects to play against the Ravens, but Coughlin made it clear that no amount of cajoling of the coaches will make a difference. It will be a medical decision, he said.

If the training staff even lets Bradshaw on the field today, it could mean a green light for the rest of the weekend.


Back to basics

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After watching his team miss 18 tackles against the Falcons last Sunday, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell had no choice but to emphasize that skill in practices this week.

"We worked on it today, that was one of our focuses today," Fewell said. "It's something that in the month of December you must focus and concentrate on and hopefully we got our message across. I think the players see it."

At this point in the season it may seem strange to be regressing to the basics of the sport.

"This is the NFL," Jason Pierre-Paul said. "We should know how to tackle by now."

But Fewell said now is definitely the time to refocus on those skills.

"[Those missed tackles] kind of tells you as a coach to get back to the fundamentals and really go back to the basics and emphasize it even more because this is the time where you really need those fundamentals," he said.


Giant steps

Guard Chris Snee (hip) and center David Baas (shoulder/hip) missed a second straight practice, but Coughlin said they should participate today . . . Justin Tuck (shoulder) was less certain about playing after missing a second straight practice. "I don't know, we'll see," he said. When asked about facing the Ravens, Tuck simply said: "I'm just trying to play on Sunday."

S Kenny Phillips (knee) and CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring) were both limited and seem ready to play Sunday . . . RB David Wilson, who promised last week to stop his celebratory backflips after touchdowns, did not sound as certain about the ban Thursday. "We'll have to see when I get into the end zone," he said. "I might not be able to hold back."