Chris Canty today worked on a football field with pads, a helmet and his Giants teammates for the first time since Super Bowl XLVI.
"It was good to be out on the field with the guys," Canty said after the team's practice. "I've got a lot of work to do, a lot to catch up on. That's to be expected. (I have) a long ways to go before I can help and contribute to this football team, but I'm excited about being on the practice field with my teammates."
Canty hopes to make his 2012 debut Sunday at home against the Washington Redskins.
"Any competitor is always looking forward to an opportunity to compete," Canty said. "So, obviously, I'm excited about the game on Sunday. I'm excited about this week, the opportunity to prepare to play in a football game. So it's something to look forward to. It's motivation that I haven't had in the past few weeks, so I'm excited about it."
Is it realistic to assume Canty can play a regular-season game after only one week of practice?
"It just depends on the coaches' evaluations of my performance out on the practice field, whether I can help the team or not, whether they decide to make their decision," Canty said. "It's totally in their hands. I feel great. My body feels good. I'm healthy, so we'll have to see about that."
Coach Tom Coughlin was non-committal when asked if Canty will play.
"He's practicing," Coughlin said. "We'll see."
Canty underwent offseason knee surgery and has been on the reserve/physically unable to perform list since the beginning of training camp.
Last year, Canty was one of the Giants best and most consistent defensive players. He started all 16 regular-season and four postseason games at right defensive tackle and finished the season with 47 tackles (31 solo), 11 tackles for losses and 4.0 sacks.
He played the entire game when the Giants defeated New England in the Super Bowl. Since then, he's undergone surgery, rehabbed and worked off to the side while his teammates practiced – until today.
"It's been tough, but I've been trying to keep a positive outlook about it, a positive attitude to help my teammates in any way that I can, help the young guys come along," Canty said. "They're doing a really good job in there, so it's exciting for me to finally be back and to be able to play. So I'm looking forward to that."
*Seven Giants did not practice today, including linebackers Michael Boley (hip) and Jacquian Williams (knee), running backs Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) and Da'Rel Scott (knee), defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (quadriceps), cornerback Corey Webster (hand/hamstring) and safety Kenny Phillips (knee).
*Williams, who likely would have had an important role when the Giants host Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins Sunday, isn't expected to play in the game.
Williams, a second-year pro, hurt his knee in the Giants' victory Sunday in San Francisco.
"He won't practice this week," coach Tom Coughlin said. "Certainly, we'll miss him."
Boley and Keith Rivers are expected to assume whatever roles Williams would have had.
"Rivers is going to have to get himself ready to go," Coughlin said.
*Phillips (knee) is improving, but is not yet ready to practice.
*Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (foot/knee) was limited in practice. Running back Andre Brown, cleared to return to action after suffering a concussion 10 days ago, practiced fully. David Wilson and Brown said they split the reps at practice in Bradshaw's absence. Coughlin said Bradshaw will practice tomorrow.
*Bradshaw sat out because of a foot issue, but Coughlin said he will be on the field tomorrow. Coughlin was asked if the soreness in Bradshaw's foot was the result of his 57 rushing attempts the previous two games.
"He certainly wasn't sitting around Sunday afternoon with his foot up," Coughlin said. "He definitely has played well, played hard and gotten the ball a number of times. I would like to think he can keep on doing that."
Bradshaw has had foot and ankle issues that sharply limited his practice time in past seasons.
"I don't want to go into that one-practice-a-week business that we've had," Coughlin said. "So I'm hoping this is something that he's able to overcome and we see the end of it."
*Scott yesterday underwent a right knee debridement and a repair to the meniscus. The procedure was performed at the Hospital for Special Surgery by team physician Dr. Russell Warren. Coughlin did not say if Scott is a candidate to go on injured reserve.
*Nicks, who played in San Francisco after missing the previous three games with foot and knee injuries, "came out okay," according to Coughlin.
*Coughlin was asked about safety Antrel Rolle, who today was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his two-interception, six-tackle game against the 49ers.
"You could sense it coming, as he was feeling better and practicing better," Coughlin said. "He has his old bounce in his step again."