Giants quarterback Eli Manning will return to full participation in practice today, a week after his forehead was turned into a bloody mess in the Giants’ preseason opener against the Jets. But the three-inch cut on his head will keep him from wearing a helmet.
Players aren’t allowed to hit the quarterback in practice anyway, so Giants coach Tom Coughlin doesn’t think it will make much difference that Manning isn’t wearing a helmet.
“We’re certainly going to be very, very careful,” Coughlin said. “We do not allow anybody to touch the quarterback. It happens once in a while, but not too often. Most of our guys are really good at, if they do get free, they come up the field past the quarterback. We don’t allow them to put their hands up or put their hands anywhere near where the quarterback’s arm or release point would be.”
Coughlin said he wants to get Manning and the rest of the offensive starters in sync this week leading up to Saturday’s third preseason game, against the Ravens. The starters aren’t expected to play in the fourth and final preseason game.
“What’s important is that these guys practice together, that we get this whole group together so we can talk about overall improvement,” Coughlin said. “When you look at some of the things that are happening — for example, the pass protection breakdowns, the lack of real efficient route running, the cohesiveness of the timing between the quarterback and the receivers — all that stuff needs work and it needs time spent together. That’s why this week will be so important to these guys.”