Plenty going on with the Giants and their injuries. In case you haven’t heard, at just about the same time the team was getting good news from Shaun O’Hara’s MRI on his ankle, they were carting Hakeem Nicks off the field with a hyperextended knee. Nicks is having an MRI tonight and will be examined tomorrow. O’Hara, meanwhile, had no signs of any new injury and will just treat the swelling and mobility and probably be out a few more days.
As for practice, it had its moments, especially on defense. Terrell Thomas made a couple of really sharp plays, including an interception on a deep ball from Eli Manning to Nicks that got caught up in the wind. He also broke up a deep pass from Rhett Bomar to Duke Calhoun.
Not to be outdone, Aaron Ross picked a pass from Bomar to Hagan, tipping the ball in the air and catching it while rolling on the ground. He almost had a second pick later on another tipped ball, this one when Chris Canty got up and batted an Eli Manning pass into the air. Ross and Antrel Rolle each made a move on the ball but neither dove for it. Probably best that way. No need to knock coconuts at this point in the season.
Hey, remember a few hours ago when I wrote how Ramses Barden had regressed? Well, he had a pretty solid practice this evening. He even some one of his acrobatic catches, jumping over the middle on a slant and then reaching over Michael Johnson to pluck the ball away from the safety. He also nearly made a fantastic grab on a pass later in practice from Jim Sorgi that was just a bit too high for him to sky for.
I joked with Lawrence Tynes this afternoon at lunch that he was he secret weapon and the Giants were keeping him under wraps. We haven’t seen him do anything yet in camp. “This afternoon,” he said with a wink. Well, he was right. And he looked pretty good, connecting on a PAT and then field goals from 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 41 and 47, the last of them just squeaking over the crossbar. And by the way, the holds were all pretty good by rookie punter Matt Dodge. Maybe that’s because Jeff Feagles was up here today working with him on his punting and holding skills.
Jason Pierre-Paul continued to get reps with the first and second units – he’s been pretty much exclusively at left tackle from what I’ve seen – and he made a few good plays today. One was a nice inside stunt in which he would have gobbled up Sorgi had he not been wearing a red jersey. He and Dave Tollefson also did a nice job of converging in the backfield to stuff a run by Andre Brown a little earlier in the practice. Pierre-Paul looks good, especially when he has a little space to work. But he can also provide a good push and has been mashing some of the lower-level offensive linemen with bull moves.
The Giants were sending a lot of blitzes up the middle at the offense tonight and some of them got there. Phillip Dillard came through virtually untouched and stuffed a run by Gartrell Johnson. There was also a play a little later where Jon Goff came flying up the middle and Ahmad Bradshaw was a little late in picking him up due to a play-action fake. Even if he had been able to stop Goff, Osi Umenyiora was charging hard from his right DE spot and would have had the sack. As it was, Manning just scrambled out of the pocket secure in his red jersey.
Just as an afterthought, Travis Beckum (hamstring) and Mario Manningham (groin) sat out both of today’s sessions. Obviously so did Kenny Phillips (knee) and Kevin Boothe (pectoral) on PUP.
No practice tomorrow but we get a few player interviews in the early morning and hopefully we’ll have some kind of word on Nicks’ MRI between now and then.