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Corey Webster returns to practice for Giants

Giants teammates Corey Webster (23), Victor Cruz (80),

Giants teammates Corey Webster (23), Victor Cruz (80), and Rueben Randle (82) wait on the field during practice. (Nov. 20, 2013) Credit: AP

Prince Amukamara was too busy with his own drills to notice what Corey Webster was doing in practice Wednesday, but there was one way he could tell that the cornerback had returned.

"He was back on my case, just like how he was before he left," Amukamara said. "That's the same old Corey."

The Giants will need some of the same old Corey. Webster, who has appeared minimally in two of the last nine games with hip and ankle injuries, could be forced into action on Sunday if Trumaine McBride is unable to play. McBride injured his groin against the Cowboys.

It may not seem like a big deal to replace McBride, who entered the season as a third-stringer. But when he left Sunday the Giants had to move Terrell Thomas from nickel to outside cornerback and slide Antrel Rolle from safety to the slot. Rolle was beaten on four pass plays in the Cowboys' game-winning drive.

Having Webster available to play corner Sunday if McBride is unavailable would allow all of those moving parts to return to where they have been most successful this season.

"It definitely gives the defense more balance," Amukamara said. "Everyone just plays their normal positions."

The Giants are clearly counting on that because Rolle, who said he hadn't practiced the nickel position since earlier this season when he was called upon to do it this past Sunday, said he did not take any reps there in Wednesday's practice either.

"We'll see how that goes," Tom Coughlin said of configuring the secondary in practice. "We're going to look at a bunch of guys."

Shaving grace

Eli Manning denied that his beard over the last few weeks had anything to do with the team's winning streak. He denied Wednesday that shaving it had anything to do with the team losing.

"I just looked at it and thought it was time," he said.

"Just a beard. I had it during the winning streak, I guess, but I shaved it during the bye week so I don't know what it was. Just a beard, I guess."

Giant steps

Tom Coughlin said the Giants will stick with the offensive line that they finished Sunday's game with for the time being. That means Kevin Boothe will play center and James Brewer will play left guard. "I'm used to playing it, I usually get a couple of reps in through the course of the week anyway" said Boothe, who had been at left guard until starting center Jim Cordle was hurt and put on IR . . . Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder) did not practice. He played sparingly against Dallas and had one tackle.

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