ALBANY -- Will Beatty returned from having tests on his back with good news, but the starting left tackle still wasn't out on the field for Saturday's practice.
"The first report I got back was it was better," coach Tom Coughlin said. "They thought there was some improvement there."
Coughlin said at the start of camp that Beatty would be "limited" by his sciatic nerve issue, but until Beatty missed Friday's practice to see doctors for a previously scheduled checkup after several days of padded practices, he'd been on the field for almost every snap with the first unit.
"It's just a routine checkup that I had," Beatty said before Saturday's practice. "It wasn't like I went down in practice or anything like that. It was, 'OK, you had a few practices, let's see how things are going.' "
So how are things going?
"I feel good," Beatty said. "Before I was like, 'Yeah, I can't practice.' Now it's, 'Let's make sure you're staying healthy.' "
Herzlich with starters
When Mark Herzlich got hurt late last season, the Giants had to bring back Chase Blackburn to become the starting middle linebacker. Saturday, those roles were reversed. Blackburn had to sit out practice after bruising his thigh and Herzlich, who had been his primary backup for the first week of camp, stepped in as the starter.
It was not a new role for Herzlich, who played some last season. In his second year with the Giants, Herzlich is looking more and more like a player who someday will become the Giants' man in the middle.
Coughlin cut practice short by about 25 minutes Saturday because he didn't have enough linebackers, he said. Also out besides Blackburn were Jacquian Williams (hip), Michael Boley (hamstring) and Jake Muasau (hamstring).