Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara responds to questions during a news...

Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara responds to questions during a news conference after he was selected as the 19th overall pick by the New York Giants in the first round of the NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall. (April 28, 2011) Credit: AP

Prince Amukamara made his first impact play for the Giants. It just happened to come behind closed doors, at a practice Thursday afternoon, while he was pretending to be a member of the Dolphins' secondary.

"He was on the 'look' squad and the receiver was running a 10- to 14-yard out cut," defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. "Prince was in a backpedal. Eli threw a laser, he threw it in there. Prince saw it, he put his toe in the turf and he broke on the ball and he knocked it down. He was ahead of the ball maybe a yard. We were like, 'Wow, man, that was nice.' "

Amukamara's teammates -- or defensive teammates, anyway -- were excited and jumped around and cheered for him. Fewell, who was initially impressed, quickly raised the bar of expectations for the rookie, though. "We wanted him to intercept it," he said.

Despite the flash, it seems the first-round pick is at least another week away from getting into a game for the Giants. He's missed almost three months after breaking a bone in his foot in early August and started working with the team only this week.

"He's working his way through practice," Tom Coughlin said. "He's a limited guy who is just getting on the practice field."

Jay Fund gala Friday

Steve Sabol of NFL Films will be among those honored Friday night at the seventh annual Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation "Champions for Children" gala at Cipriani in Manhattan. Many Giants players are expected to attend, including rookie linebacker Mark Herzlich, who -- like Jay McGillis, for whom the foundation is named -- attended Boston College and was diagnosed with cancer.

"When I was going through it all as a patient, it was good to know that people have your back and are rooting for you," Herzlich said. "The people who get help from the Jay Fund, they know that the Jay Fund has their back."

For info about attending the event, which is open to the public, call 212-627-1000 or visit www.tcjayfund.org.

Giant steps

Coughlin said WR Ramses Barden is working on the scout team in practice; this week he is acting like Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall. Coughlin made it sound as if he will not come off PUP in time to play this week . . . Former Giants P Matt Dodge worked out for the Jets on Wednesday.

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