Eli Manning said he expects to be "100 percent'' for the start of training camp, but the Giants quarterback conceded that he may be on the sideline until then. Two weeks after having an arthroscopic procedure on his left ankle, Manning said he isn't sure if he'll be able to participate in any of the OTAs or the veteran minicamp that will take place in May and June.
"I just don't know,'' he said, appearing in a protective walking boot and walking gingerly to address the media at the second day of the team's offseason workouts. "Obviously, I'd like to be, but we just have to see kind of what the process is and see how quickly I can heal and what the trainers and everyone, how quickly they want to push me.''
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That push is unlikely to be firm. Manning is expected to be cleared to run in late May, but that probably will be all he is allowed to do. The entire process of healing from the ankle injury he suffered in the regular-season finale has been shaped around having him ready for the start of camp in July. That includes the recent addition of Josh Freeman, a fourth quarterback on the roster, as well as the decision to have the procedure on April 10.
Manning won't go the entire offseason without any direct quarterback work. He did participate in drills while at Duke earlier this month. He said it was the best the ankle had felt since the injury, but he and the doctors attributed that to a recent cortisone shot and not actual healing.
"We felt when that wore off that the pain would come back and I would be in the same boat that I was in earlier,'' Manning said. "I felt to go ahead and do the procedure now was the smartest thing . . . It ended up being a smart idea. When he did the scope, he saw that there were some things that needed to be cleaned out.''
Manning will, however, miss most of the on-field installation of the new offense that coordinator Ben McAdoo has brought to the Giants. Manning's learning of the system will be relegated to classrooms for now, but the Giants would rather have him sidelined now than in September.
"I think that was kind of the reason for doing this at this time, to prevent any uncertainty,'' Manning said. " . . . It'll give me plenty of time to heal and be 100 percent healthy for the season.''
Report: Hill fails third drug test.Giants safety Will Hill, who spoke openly about his marijuana use last year, reportedly failed an NFL drug test for the third time. The report said Hill is appealing the latest result.
Not only does Hill face a possible suspension of six to eight games from the league, but the Giants apparently have lost patience and are likely to cut ties with him.
It is unclear whether the most recent failed test violated the NFL's substance-abuse policy or its performance-enhancing drugs policy, both of which Hill violated in the past.
Hill, one of the Giants' most talented defenders, figured to be an important contributor this season, teaming with Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown in a strong three-safety unit.
His troubled career began when he went undrafted in 2011 because of personal issues. He signed with the Giants in 2012 but was suspended four games that season and another four games in 2013.
Hill also was arrested last December in New Jersey for being delinquent on child-support payments.