Seventeen days of inactivity didn't suppress Jacquian Williams' nose for the ball.
Williams, the Giants' second-year linebacker, practiced today for the first time since Aug. 2. He had been sidelined with a hip injury. Williams showed he still has a knack for being in the right spot. He dropped what would have been an interception in a seven-on-seven passing drill, but did pick off a deflected pass late in practice.
"It was a normal practice," Williams said. "I was limited today so there wasn't much I could do, but I felt good. I'm very happy. I'm happy about it."
"He seemed to move around well," coach Tom Coughlin said. "He didn't have any issues."
Williams is unaccustomed to sitting. As a rookie in 2011, he played in all 16 regular season games (leading the team with 17 special teams tackles) and four postseason games. After hurting his hip in a training camp practice at the University at Albany, Williams thought he'd return quickly. But he missed more than two weeks of practice and the Giants' first two preseason games.
"It was definitely hard," Williams said. "Nobody wants to be out. I'm not used to being on the sideline waiting. It was different. Just watching my teammates go out there and go hard every day, I felt like I was supposed to be a part of that. It was tough just sitting out there in camp and physically couldn't do anything about it. Today I was limited but I was out there. It was a good day."
Williams' fellow second-year linebackers - Mark Herzlich, Spencer Paysinger and Greg Jones – have all said they are much more advanced at this point in the summer than they were a year ago, largely because they had a full offseason. Williams said his absence didn't cause him to lose his edge mentally and he is confident of catching up quickly physically.
"I agree with them; we came a long way," Williams said. "But with me sitting back two weeks, it wasn't as bad. A lot of the stuff, I have and I can study it. Just the physical part of being out there, the reps of it, I was kind of behind on that.
"But everything was good today. It was clean. It was smooth. I felt good."
Good enough to play in the Giants' preseason game Friday night against Chicago?
"That's something I'm not aware of yet," Williams said. "Coach will tell us at the end of the week."
*Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks practiced for the first time this summer. He had been on the physically unable to perform list as he recovered from surgery to repair a broken foot.
Nicks was limited by the medical staff but ran several routes and jumped over Prince Amukamara in the end zone to catch a pass from Eli Manning late in practice.
"He seemed to be pretty good," Coughlin said. "He seemed to feel good and moved around well and did a good job with it."
Coughlin has not decided if Nicks will play in either of the two remaining preseason games.
"I don't know, we'll see," Coughlin said. "We're going to go slow to make sure that there's never a setback. He's very anxious to do more, but we'll go slow."
*Running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who suffered a hand injury vs. the Jets, and linebacker Mark Herzlich (hip pointer), practiced today. Bradshaw was limited.
"I think he could do more," Coughlin said. "He's obviously sore, he's got some swelling in his hand, but his hands are well protected. So, I think this is precautionary."
First-round draft choice David Wilson took several reps with the first-team offense. Asked why, Coughlin said, "Just the fact that he hasn't had those reps with the first group, and we want to take a look at that."
Two other players who were hurt in the game, defensive end Adrian Tracy (hamstring) and cornerback Jayron Hosley (turf toe) did not practice.
"Hosley's sore and they're trying to do as much as they can to keep him off his feet," Coughlin said.
*Linebacker Michael Boley (hamstring) and tackle Will Beatty (back) continue to be sidelined.
"Beatty's still struggling," Coughlin said.
*Chris Canty ran on the side while his teammates practiced. The defensive tackle has been on the physically unable to perform list since training camp began.
*Cornerbacks Michael Coe (hamstring) and Brandon Bing (hamstring) did not practice. Coe said he expected to practice tomorrow or Wednesday.
*The Giants, American Red Cross, Bob's Discount Furniture, Fox 5, My9 and WFAN are teaming up to host the Giants Third Annual Blood Drive on Saturday, August 25, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at MetLife Stadium. Every presenting donor will have an opportunity to get their photo taken with the Giants Super Bowl XLVI Trophy and meet a Giants legend. Giants legends scheduled to appear throughout the day include Stephen Baker, Greg Comella, Keith Hamilton, Brian Kelley and Jeff Feagles. The first 1,000 presenting donors will also receive a limited edition Giants T-shirt. Free parking will be available for all donors at this event.
Throughout the day randomly selected attendees will be eligible to win great prizes, including autographed Giants merchandise and recliners courtesy of Bob's Discount Furniture. Fans will also be able to use the occasion to tour the Giants Legacy Club presented by New York Presbyterian Hospital. The Legacy Club is the Giants' interactive team museum, which includes artefacts from throughout the team's history, including a brand new display dedicated to the team's 2011 championship season. The day will include fun for the whole family, with clowns, face painters and plenty of great refreshments.
Walk-ins are always welcome; however, donors are highly encouraged to schedule an appointment in advance to help eliminate unexpected wait times and to ensure they have ample time for photo opportunities. All current eligible and new donors can schedule an appointment to donate blood by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visiting www.redcrossblood.org/giants.
With extreme heat keeping some donors at home and severe storms forcing the cancellation of dozens of blood drives earlier in the month, the Red Cross continues to have an emergency need for donors of all blood types. Red Cross blood donations are the lowest they have been in 15 years. Public support from the organization's late-June appeal helped temporarily stop a decline in the blood supply. However, the mid-week Independence Day and extreme summer weather have contributed to a decrease in donations lately. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. As the nation's single largest supplier of blood and blood products, the Red Cross is dedicated to ensuring that every patient who needs a lifesaving transfusion is able to receive one. In fact, the Red Cross must collect more than 17,000 pints of blood each day to meet the needs of patients at more than 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. It is the blood on the shelves today that helps save lives tomorrow.