The Giants returned to work on Monday, just two days after their preseason win over the Steelers, with some familiar names back in the fold — as well as a familiar name who didn’t make it all the way through the session.
Not everyone went unscathed during their first session back, as safety Antrel Rolle injured his ankle halfway through practice and was carted off the field.
First-year Giant Ryan Mundy took Rolle’s place with the starters for the rest of the afternoon.
And while head coach Tom Coughlin called Mundy, a former Michigan and West Virginia star, “a good, sound player,” there’s no doubt the coach would prefer to see Rolle, the secondary’s leader, back on the field as soon as possible.
"I would much rather have [Rolle back], so hopefully it’s an ankle and he’s coming right back,” said Coughlin. “I was just telling the coaches and then also the players that as of this morning we had nine practices left before the regular season. Can you imagine that? Nine practices. It’s ridiculous.”
Rolle may miss a good chunk of those remaining eight practices should the MRI show any further damage. Ankles are a tricky injury and if the word is Rolle is suffering from the dreaded high-ankle variety, it could very well put the Sept. 8 regular-season opener in doubt.
“It was obviously bothering him, so he was checked out immediately,” Coughlin said. “He must have stepped on it [another player’s foot]. [Rolle and tight end Bear Pascoe] stepped on each other’s feet. It was like a rebound drill. ... Honestly, I didn’t see it until he was sitting down.”
Practice had to go on, however, and at least Big Blue got some good news on the injury front, as defensive end Justin Tuck (back), right guard Chris Snee (hip), rookie first-round pick offensive tackle Justin Pugh (concussion) and cornerback Terrell Thomas (knee) were all in action and trying to get back to their routines. Tuck took part in all of the drills, Snee eased his way back into the starting rotation, Pugh worked with the second unit and Thomas was a fixture at nickel back (fifth defensive back) in certain packages.
Tuck was thought to be ready for practices by late last week, Coughlin noted during his Sunday conference call, but was also held out for precautionary reasons. The former Pro Bowler split the first-team reps at left end with Cullen Jenkins, who also plays defensive tackle in “big” packages. Snee also put in solid work, as he played extensively with the starters again during team drills.
The most impressive sight, however, had to be Thomas’s activity. Coughlin noted it was good to see the snake-bitten corner return to the fold and practicing in what was the most action he’s seen in a Giants’ uniform in over a year — and definitely since he was activated off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list last week.
“He got the green light to have more snaps and he did, and he seemed to do OK with it, too,” Coughlin said, seemingly adding a cryptic message to the rest of the injury-plagued players. “Hopefully that’ll give him some confidence [and] he’ll take some more. ... It’s time for all these guys that have been in this other category [PUP] into get moving.”
Big Blue notes ...
»Cornerback Aaron Ross did some work at safety, but Coughlin insisted “there wasn’t a position change, today.” The coach simply said Ross filled a need.
“The corners end up at center field [in the Giants’ three-safety package],” Coughlin said. “Just a defensive scheme [with] safeties down closer, [and] corners playing coverage.”
»Defensive end Damontre Moore (shoulder contusion), who had a huge preseason debut on Saturday, cornerback Corey Webster (soreness), guard Chris DeGeare (ankle) and wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan (soreness) did not practice.
»The Giants waived/injured wide receiver Kris Adams, who underwent surgery after fracturing his ankle in Pittsburgh. The team filled his roster spot by signing wide receiver Marcus Harris.
»Running back Ryan Torain returned to practice after missing several days with a concussion he suffered on Aug. 6.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8 for updates from training camp.