The idea behind the timing of Eli Manning's ankle surgery in April was to make sure the quarterback would be ready for the start of training camp. The quarterback had other ideas.
"My biggest concern about doing it when we did it was I thought I might miss some OTAs, and I didn't want to," Manning said Thursday after a second straight day of full participation in the voluntary workouts. "The fact that I got back for these OTAs makes me feel confident that we made the right decision."
When Manning had the procedure seven weeks ago, the expectation was that it would take him six weeks before he could even start running. As recently as earlier this month, general manager Jerry Reese said it was unlikely Manning would be participating in any spring activities. The Giants were bracing for their first extended period of time without Manning under center in nearly a decade.
"When we started out I didn't think we'd have him for anything," Tom Coughlin said Thursday. "We're about two or three days into Phase II [earlier this month] and he's running around. I'm trying to slow him down but he feels good."
"It gives us a lot of confidence, especially with a guy coming off an injury and everything comes out saying that he's not going to participate," wide receiver Victor Cruz said. "But he's out there with us not being tame, not being shortened . . . It's just amazing to see a guy that doesn't have to be out here, who can sit back and heal as much as he wants to, but he's out there working with us and learning the plays and learning the timing."
Perhaps Manning might have taken a slower, more cautious approach had this been a normal offseason. It's not. The Giants are installing a new offense with new coordinator Ben McAdoo, have a glut of new players, and it has become imperative to have Manning on the field during this critical period.
"Having a new offense made me want to be out with the team," Manning said. "It's one thing to watch it from the sideline and think you know what's going on, but sometimes you have to be right there at the line of scrimmage and having to make important calls and checks and reads. I think it's very important to be out there and I wanted to be out there as soon as possible to get going with this offense."
The Giants will remain vigilant with Manning's left ankle, checking each day for swelling and trying to get honest answers from the quarterback about any discomfort. So far it's been nothing but green lights.
"We're still being smart with most things, not trying to over-do it," Manning said. "Just daily football activities, I feel like I can do them all full . . . We're just going to see how it's responding. Just keep going about my business trying to keep getting better out there on the field."
Notes & Quotes: RB David Wilson will have an MRI and visit doctors on Wednesday to evaluate his progress following offseason neck surgery. Wilson has been a limited participant in OTAs and has not been cleared for contact ? DE Jason Pierre-Paul (back/shoulder) said he feels 100 percent after a 2013 season that was slowed by injuries ? Coughlin said G John Jerry had his knee scoped and will miss OTAs and minicamp ? Coughlin also said the Giants are unsure when they will hear from the NFL regarding Will Hill's appeal of a positive drug test that could cost the safety a six-game suspension.