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Manning adamant he'll play when Giants face Ravens

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning removes his

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning removes his jersey after NFL football training camp in Albany, N.Y., on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010. The Giants quarterback joined teammates at training camp, after he needed 12 stitches to close a gash on the left side of his forehead on Monday night in a preseason game against the New York Jets. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) Credit: AP Photo/Mike Groll

Eli Manning went down the list.

"Fourteen offensive linemen today for practice," he said. "We've got four tight ends today for practice. So it's good that everybody is getting back healthy."

Oh, and one quarterback too. He forgot to mention that.

Yes, Manning was on the field with his teammates Monday for the first time since suffering a three-inch gash across his hairline last week against the Jets. He didn't wear a helmet - that'll come Wednesday, he said - but did have a small bandage and a baseball cap on while taking snaps. It was his first time working with the team since he trotted over to the sideline with blood running down his face on national television.

For a guy who hates missing any snaps, missing a week was not fun.

"I don't like missing practice," he said. "I don't like being out there [on the sideline], I like being with my teammates and going through everything with them. Like I said, I'm kind of happy last week was at least a short week and I didn't have to miss too much, but I'm excited about getting back out there."

Manning also said he plans on playing Saturday against the Ravens in the all-important third preseason game.

"Whatever coach Coughlin wants to do and whatever he thinks, but I know I'm playing," he said. "How long I play, I'll leave that up to the head coach."

His Giants teammates are happy to have him back, as well, even if they showed it by rolling their eyes and throwing some verbal jabs.

"I thought we wore helmets at practice," guard Chris Snee said. "I thought hat days were on Saturdays."

Guard Rich Seubert added, "He's got different standards than the rest of us."

Defensive tackle Chris Canty said that the Giants' coaches did not warn the defensive players about getting too close to Manning in practice. But Canty said he planned on giving Manning his space.

"I've hit that guy too many times," Canty said, a reference to his days as a defensive lineman in Dallas. "I think we'll leave him alone for now."

Snee said that it was enough for Manning to have a red jersey and no helmet as signs to stay away. But even without those warning flags, he said it's pretty clear that Manning is the one guy you don't want to be popping in a practice.

"I think everyone's known that around here for a while," he said.

As for having almost the entire offense on the field for the first time in weeks, Manning was excited.

"It's just something that happens at training camp," he said of the revolving door to the trainers' room. "You get a few guys banged up, and if it's time to get everybody back, this is kind of the time you want everybody back when you're getting close to the start of the season. We've got a long week, a full week between games, so I'm looking forward to a great week of practice and getting everybody kind of back healthy, back into sync of what we're doing."

Get their heads back in the game. Even the ones without helmets. Especially the ones without helmets.

New York Sports