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Justin Tuck misses practice again with back tightness

Giants defensive end Justin Tuck tosses a football

Giants defensive end Justin Tuck tosses a football during training camp. (July 29, 2013) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Justin Tuck said his back is improving, but apparently not fast enough for Tom Coughlin's liking. Tuck missed a second straight day of practice Thursday, and after the workout, Coughlin sounded disappointed and concerned.

"Today was not what we wanted," he said. "He's not quite as nimble and nifty as we had hoped. We'll have to see, but I actually thought he would work today."

Tuck has not been ruled out for Saturday night's preseason opener against the Steelers and said he wants to play in it. Whether the Giants will let him remains to be seen.

"It's nothing serious," Tuck said of his injury in the morning before practice. "Just a little tightness . . . I've played in worse pain, I can tell you that. Just want to be smart and make sure it is nothing that will linger. That's all."

Coughlin noted that Tuck was having a strong camp before the injury sidelined him. "Nobody saw this coming," he said. "All of a sudden, his back was stiff and tight, and he's doing what he can now to get that thing back to where it should be so he can get back to work."

Giant steps Coughlin said the starters will get between 12 and 15 snaps in Pittsburgh . . . CB Terrell Thomas (knee / hamstring) will not play in the preseason opener, but WR Hakeem Nicks (groin) might . . . Practice quickly shifted indoors when rain began to fall and lightning was detected in the area with about a half-hour remaining in the workout . . . Coughlin said T Justin Pugh (concussion) still is expected to be cleared this weekend . . . Recently retired S Deon Grant stopped by practice. Coughlin said he wished Grant told him he was coming so he could've addressed the team.

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