Dallas ran 69 plays and controlled the clock for 38 minutes last week, but still the Giants came out victorious.
Jon Beason is feeling it now.
After seeing increased reps against the Cowboys, the middle linebacker missed practice again on Thursday due to an ankle injury. But his "plan" is to play this week in New Orleans.
"Just a little sore," the defensive captain said. "So we're just trying to be smart. I'm trying to make it to Sunday."
Beason ran his snap count up to 60 in Week 7, nearly doubling what he did the game before while dealing with a knee issue. Uani 'Unga, who has backed up Beason this season and split the workload, missed the Cowboys game because of a neck problem.
"It's been working," Beason said. "But unfortunately, guys get nicked. The good thing about our room is we have a lot of guys that can play, a lot of veteran guys, smart players, and we feel good about whoever is out there."
In a bend-but-don't-break kind of game, Beason led the Giants with 11 tackles against Dallas and got back into the groove.
"For me, that's what it's all about," Beason said. "I've been on a bike before. So I've just got to get back on and start pedaling. So getting out there was fun, felt good, felt natural, and some things I felt I could've done better. But that'll come in time."
If all goes according to plan, Beason will face a familiar foe from his NFC South days. Beason saw the Saints twice a year playing in Carolina, where he started from 2007-2013 and made multiple Pro Bowls.
Not much has changed since then. The whole team still revolves around quarterback Drew Brees.
"I think, first off, he's a great teammate," Beason said. "He's a leader, captain of that [offense]. He makes that team go and that offense go. He's pinpoint accurate. He makes smart decisions, quick decisions, and he's kind of one of those guys that he came back from an injury and people said he couldn't do something, and he just went out and proved why he still is Drew Brees."
The status of Beason was just one of the many topics coming out of the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Thursday. Here are three takeaways from the day:
1. JPP RUNS DRILLS; "GOING TO TAKE A LITTLE WHILE"
After returning to the team this week, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul took another step today and participated in individual as well as scout team reps.
"It brought a big smile to my face," Beason said. "Long time coming, happy to have the guy back, a member of the family is back home, and anxious to see what he can do and I know he's going to give us a lift. He's going to help us."
Added Beason: "You always set the expectations high. He's JPP for a reason. I don't see why he won't be able to go out there and help us. So anybody who is about what we're trying to do -- we're trying to get after the quarterback, whether we bring pressure or we just send our front four, we need to do a better job of that." Steve Spagnuolo, who is in his first year back as the Giants' defensive coordinator, was glad to see him on the field as he's still getting to know the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end.
"Today was really the first day he kind of did anything," Spagnuolo said after practice. "I know he ran around yesterday, so I haven't really had a chance to watch the film. It's going to take a little while, it's really early now. We want to be optimistic, and I know he is, too, but I think we want to be smart about it. We'll just see where it goes."
2. INJURY REPORT
CB Prince Amukamara (pectoral), LB Jon Beason (ankle), WR Victor Cruz (calf), DE Owa Odighizuwa (hamstring) and LB J.T. Thomas III (ankle) did not participate in practice. OL Geoff Schwartz (ankle) was limited. WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) and LB Uani 'Unga (neck) were full-go.
3. HOW WILL THE GIANTS SPLIT CARRIES?
Fourth-string running back Orleans Darkwa is on the Giants' roster for a reason, and it's not only because of special teams. Last week, Darkwa, who had no touches in the first six games, sparked the Giants with eight carries for 48 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown run. Does one good game deserve another? Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo said it's still being decided how the ball will be split between Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams, Shane Vereen and Darkwa.
"I like competition," McAdoo said. "I like it. I like getting everybody involved and getting their hands on the ball. Different games call for different plans, and we'll have to see how things go this week." Added coach Tom Coughlin: "There are roles and, fortunately, we have four guys to do that. Can you have enough snaps for four? Maybe not. But on a game-to-game basis, you can, you certainly can. We'll continue to analyze the opponent, where we think we need to be able to utilize the talents of the guys we have."