To say Landon Collins was sidelined by an injury last week would be incorrect.
True, the Giants' rookie safety with a knee sprain was not practicing with the rest of the team and he did sit out Saturday's preseason game against the Jaguars. But Collins was pretty active during those practices in particular, at times sprinting to the football and racing the other healthy players to the line of scrimmage.
In fact, very little of his time was spent on an actual sideline.
"That's his game," Tom Coughlin said of the second-round pick who is expected to become an important player - and more significantly, an important voice - in the secondary. "He's got to be involved like that. To keep him as involved as we possibly can, even though he can't take snaps, that [was] the challenge. Of course with a young guy who has a sense that he's missing time, he should be more engaged."
Collins is expected to return to practice Tuesday. Coughlin said he'll be limited, but he comes back to a position that is still trying to find its identity. Potential starter Bennett Jackson was lost for the season to an ACL tear, Nat Berhe has yet to practice fully (he is expected to Tuesday) and veteran Brandon Meriweather is still feeling his way through the playbook after signing last week.
That leaves it to Collins to grab control of the job. He said he's up for it.
"It's no pressure at all," he said. "I mean, you take that as a challenge. Every day, you try to get better. As much as you learn and get from the vets, the faster you get on the field, the faster you know, and the better you are."
Collins was able to continue that growth during his brief convalescence.
"Just stay in the coaching staff meetings, our meetings, and one-on-ones with the coaches," he said of his routine to keep abreast. "Definitely with my teammates and making sure we're all on the same page. If I see something, I can tell them what to do, and if they still have questions, we still always ask each other questions about everything."
He's also developed a bond with Meriweather, one of the few experienced players at the position.
"He's a character," Collins said. "For a vet, he definitely gives me some keys about what's going on and how to read the game. Definitely helped me out with what to know."
Collins said he expects to play in Saturday's preseason game against the Jets, but that will depend on how his knee responds to his return this week.
"Every game is very important," he said. "Especially that one, just to get it underneath my belt so I can get experience of how fast the game is, the pace, and just have an understanding of my teammates and what they see so we can always feel off of each other."