If you are a Giants fan looking for something to be excited about from today's practice, let me relay this simple play that I saw.
While the special teams groups were working on punting, Eli Manning was throwing passes off to the side to receivers along the sideline. One of them he threw to Steve Smith. Smith was able to reach straight up over his head and catch the ball. Pretty good range of movement for a guy with a partially torn pectoral muscle, no?
Anyway, the good news of yesterday was not washed away by the rain. Smith, David Diehl and Shaun O'Hara were all working in pads for the second straight day. Whether any of them will be ready to play on Sunday against the Redskins remains up in the air, but certainly the fact that they worked and came in the following day without pain enough to prohibit them from working again is a great sign.
My educated guess for their returns?
I think it's a 1-2-3 punch. Diehl comes back this week, Smith and O'Hara come back for the Vikings game, Hakeem Nicks comes back for the Eagles game. But like I said, that's just an educated guess.
The question if Diehl is healthy enough to play on Sunday becomes: Where does he play? He's been taking snaps at tackle, but he can also play guard. Do you want him outside blocking Brian Orakpo in his first game back? Or inside jousting with the most dangerous backup defensive tackle this side of Rocky Bernard (I speak, of course, of Albert Haynesworth).
Maybe the better question is this: Would you rather have Will Beatty or Kevin Boothe on the field?
As for the rest of practice, the only guys not working were Shawn Andrews, Nicks and Will Blackmon. Aaron Ross, who was limited yesterday with a mystery ailment that could be anything from a passed kidney stone to a strained lower back, was on the field taking punts and doing cornerback drills.