Seventeen months ago the Giants selected cornerback Prince Amukamara and defensive tackle Marvin Austin with their first two choices in the 2011 NFL Draft.
On Sunday, for the first time, they could play in a regular season game together.
Nothing's guaranteed, of course. Both are listed on the injury report for the Giants' home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Amukamara (ankle) is questionable and Austin (back) is probable.
"We've been waiting since … last year," coach Tom Coughlin said.
Neither Amukamara nor Austin played in the Giants' season-opening loss to Dallas last week, but both expect to face the Bucs.
"The coach hasn't told me anything yet," Amukamara said. "I just practiced this whole week and just did the best I can out there.
"I feel a lot better. I feel like I'm improving and getting healthier each day. If I can compete in practice, you can play."
Amukamara said his mindset is he will be on the field Sunday.
"For sure and I've been practicing like it and studying like it," he said, "so I definitely do have that mindset."
Michael Coe started at right corner last week. Coughlin would not say if Amukamara will fill that role against the Buccaneers.
"We'll see about that," Coughlin said. "He's been out here every day and he's worked. He certainly would be in contention."
Austin has waited a long time to make his regular-season debut. He missed his entire rookie season with a torn pectoral muscle.
"I'm preparing as if I am (going to play)," Austin said. "When the time comes for coach Coughlin to make the decision, either way, I'll be prepared. I'll be prepared to be out there helping my guys see whatever I see if I'm not active. If I'm active, I'm going to be out there running around, acting a fool out there. A good fool that is.
"It's exciting to know that I have the opportunity to go out there in the regular season and represent the organization, represent the D-line and how we work, and represent myself and my family; but the football, it's extremely exciting. At the same time, I know I was out there, and it can be taken away like that. Making sure I use the proper techniques, just taking care of myself and my teammates. The most important thing for me is just being precise on how I use my hands and my steps and that's the things that nobody likes to talk about on the news. Those are the most important things for me."
Coughlin did not make a definitive statement on Austin's status.
"He's missed a lot of time, so I think he's gradually going to get back into it," he said. "This was a good starting point for him, to be out here practicing so that he can be evaluated afterwards by the medical people for having completed a practice."
*Neither of the Giants' starting wide receivers practiced. Victor Cruz was excused to attend the funeral of his grandmother, Lucy Molina. Hakeem Nicks rested his sore foot.
Nicks is listed as questionable for the game. Because he missed practice, Cruz was added to the injury report as probable.
*Keith Rivers, who started at weakside linebacker last week, is listed as doubtful with a hamstring injury. If he can't play, Michael Boley will start, as he did 42 times from 2009-11, including four postseason games.
"I expect to, unless something changes between now and then," Boley said.
Boley missed the entire preseason with a hamstring injury and played as a reserve in the opener, when he intercepted a Tony Romo pass and returned it 51 yards.
"That's not an issue anymore," Boley said of his hamstring. "Finally got that behind me."
Boley said he is "most definitely" looking forward to more playing time. "Competitors don't like to leave the field, and I'm one of those guys," Boley said. " I'm looking forward to being out there for awhile."
*Rookie defensive end Adewale Ojomo (hamstring) has been declared out.
In addition to Cruz and Austin, center David Baas (hip), Coe (hamstring), tackle James Brewer (back) and running back Da'Rel Scott (knee) are probable.
Baas didn't practice today, but said of Sunday, "I'm good. Let's go."