EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** The happiest Giant in the Quest Diagnostics Training Center today was almost certainly Justin Pugh.
"I've got a big smile on my face." Pugh said.
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Photos: Training Camp Practice With good reason. The Giants' first-round draft choice returned to practice today after missing a week of work and the opening preseason game because of a concussion. Pugh wasn't able to be in the facility immediately after he was diagnosed, nor did he travel to Pittsburgh for the Giants' 18-13 victory over the Steelers.
"I feel like I'm letting everyone down by being out, but it's the right thing," Pugh said. "I know the way NFL is handling concussions now you have to make sure that you're held accountable and you tell somebody because it's a major thing.
"First time I ever had a concussion, so I didn't really know what it was all about. The doctors here did a great job handling everything and I'm symptom-free, so it's been good for me now."
Pugh's return included a position change. A right tackle before he was hurt, Pugh today played with the second unit at left tackle, where he started all 34 games in which he played at Syracuse.
Although he despised being idle, Pugh is hopeful his time off didn't impede his development. He said he can "definitely" quickly make up for lost time.
"I only missed, I think, two days in the meeting room and I was able to come back in and get that stuff working," he said. "So obviously you lose out on two days of film, which is crucial, but to get back in there and spend a little extra time now to get back to where you should be.
"Obviously, missing the reps, that's something that's big. I wish I could get those back. But right now I've just got to go out there and play. I really can't control that now."
Quick Hits >>
- *Each of the Giants' four quarterbacks played a quarter in Pittsburgh. In order, they were: Eli Manning, David Carr, Curtis Painter and rookie Ryan Nassib. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said today that a rotation will be difficult to retain in the future. The Giants host Indianapolis Sunday night.
Next week is where it's challenging," Gilbride said, "because you want to play the young quarterback as much as you can and yet you still have to split the time between David and Curtis and you're going to extend Eli's time. It starts to become more of a challenge, there's no question, in the next couple weeks."
- Gilbride praised Nassib, who completed just one of four passes in Pittsburgh.
"I think he's played pretty well," Gilbride said. "He actually did a nice thing. He didn't get as much protection as some of the other guys got, but I thought he hung in there and I thought he was throwing the ball to the right spot. When he had the time, he made some good throws."
Manning also endorsed Nassib's performance.
I thought Ryan made some good plays," Manning said. "He was in a couple of tough circumstances and made the best out of them, didn't force the ball, didn't turn the ball over, had some pressure, had some good movement in the pocket, protected the ball. That first preseason game, you're in there with a lot of guys in their first preseason game, so it's not going to be always smooth sailing. There are going to be some bad plays, but I think it's a great learning experience and I thought he made some good decisions and good plays."
- Guard Chris Snee and cornerback Terrell Thomas, both of whom came off the physically unable to perform list last week, had increased workloads today. Snee took some first team reps at his customary right guard position, while Thomas lined up as the nickel corner.
(Thomas) got the green light to have more snaps and he did," Coughlin said. "And he seemed to do okay with it, too. So hopefully that'll give him some confidence, he'll take some more. It's time for all these guys that have been in this other category to get moving."
- Defensive end Justin Tuck practiced and split the first team reps at left end with Cullen Jenkins. Tuck missed two practices and the Steelers game with tightness in his back.
- Running back Ryan Torain returned to practice after missing several days and the Pittsburgh game with a concussion he suffered on Aug. 6.
"The guy we're obviously trying to move along here is (James) Brewer, get Brewer back so we can get him in on some of these preseason opportunities," Coughlin said. Brewer also suffered a concussion last week.
- Two second-year pros – wide receiver Rueben Randle and tight end Adrien Robinson – combined to make several outstanding catches.
- Defensive end Damontre Moore (shoulder contusion), cornerback Corey Webster (soreness), guard Chris DeGeare (ankle) and wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan (soreness) did not practice.
- Quote of the Day, from Coach Coughlin: "I was telling the coaches and 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."
- Attendance for the two most recent training camp practices: 1,203 on Thursday and 1,774 today.
- The Giants waived/injured wide receiver Kris Adams, who underwent surgery after fracturing his ankle in Pittsburgh. They signed wide receiver Marcus Harris.
Harris, who played at Murray State, is 6-1 and 187 pounds. He was in training camp with the Detroit Lions in 2011 and the Tennessee Titans last year. Harris was on the Lions' practice squad for the final six weeks of the 2011 season. In 2012, he played for Omaha in the UFL and the Iowa Barnstormers in the Arena Football League. He caught 94 passes and scored 19 touchdowns and also led the team with 65 kickoff returns.