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Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams will share playing time with Giants

Giants running back Rashad Jennings #23 celebrates after

Giants running back Rashad Jennings #23 celebrates after running for a first down against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 5, 2014 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Mike Stobe

Rashad Jennings insisted he feels better this week than he did last week, and coach Tom Coughlin also said the running back looked better and was able to do more in practice.

"He ran around pretty good today,'' Coughlin said after Friday's practice.

So Jennings will be back in the mix when the Giants host Washington on Sunday, which means he will share time in the backfield with rookie Andre Williams, who stepped in for Jennings last Sunday and rushed for 131 yards, including a 50- yard touchdown, on 24 carries.

Coughlin wouldn't say whether Jennings, who still leads the team in rushing yards with 603 (on 156 attempts, a 3.9 average), will return to his starting role. He didn't want to answer direct questions about how he intends to divide the running backs' playing time but did hint that a hot start by either back could be a factor.

"Both of them will play, no doubt,'' Coughlin said. "I mean, how they go in, when they go in, that's a big deal for you [media] guys; it's really not that much for me. We'll look at it and we'll decide, probably based on the first few plays.''

Coughlin did say that Williams, who has rushed for 524 yards on 158 carries this season, has progressed well. He especially is pleased at the improvement in Williams' pass protection.

"He's learned and understood and doesn't make many mistakes in pass protection,'' Coughlin said.

Jennings said he was proud of the way Williams played in the 36-7 win over Tennessee.

"I'm his No. 1 fan,'' Jennings said. "I want him to be great. I told him from the beginning I want him to be better than me, and I'm going to give him every tip I possibly can for him to do that. So I was excited [with Williams' performance against Tennessee]. To see him get the long run and finish his runs and show a little bit of patience, you see the growth.''

Jennings said Williams, whom he called "a physical runner,'' needs to understand that it is more important to accelerate through a hole rather than accelerate on the way to the hole. Those are the types of things he said he learned from Maurice Jones-Drew when he was a rookie understudy to Jones-Drew with Jacksonville. He said he is trying to teach Williams how to be a good professional just as Jones-Drew taught him.

Notes & quotes: Defensive end Damontre Moore was fined $10,000 for his illegal hit on Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger last week . . . Eli Manning, on the injury list with a back problem, practiced fully and is expected to make his 165th consecutive start. Washington appears set to start Colt McCoy, who left last week's game with a strained neck but has proved to coach Jay Gruden that he is good to go . . . Offensive tackle James Brewer and linebacker Jacquian Williams (both suffering from concussions) were ruled out. Williams will miss his fifth game this week, and Coughlin was asked if he would consider shutting him down for the season. "We'll see,'' he said.

New York Sports