Yet the team is still being cautious about his status for Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders.
"If the medical people think he can play, then he will play," Coughlin said. "We'll evaluate him every day. I know he wants to play in the worst way, but we're not going to go against the medical people. We're not going to pencil him in and say he's playing."
Coughlin said he was "encouraged" by the way Manning looked in practice.
"He did fine," Coughlin said. "You want someone who can make the exchanges on handoffs and drop back to plant and throw. He did all of that. He'll get some treatment, both here and at home, and we'll see how he is (Saturday) when he comes in. If he makes some progress, then I see no reason as to why he won't play."
At the start of Friday's practice, Manning did the regular calisthenics with the team and at one point was leading sprints, causing one coach to yell, "That a way, Eli."
Although Manning seemed to run a little gingerly, he did the regular stretching and squatting with no problem.
When practice began, backup quarterback David Carr took the first five snaps with the starting unit, but he was quickly replaced by Manning, giving all indications that he would be ready to start Sunday. Manning has made 82 consecutive starts.
Manning, who has been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis in his right heel, wasn't available to the media after practice. Team officials said he was receiving medical treatment.
Carr said he watched closely and believes Manning will be ready Sunday.
"I think he looked fine," Carr said. "He looked good. We'll see how it goes on Sunday. I have to be ready in case he doesn't feel great.
"It was good to see him out there. He wasn't favoring it, and that was a good sign. I watched his dropback to see if he could push off it. I wanted to see if he could do it and he looked fine. I don't want to not be prepared in case I have to go, but I think Eli will go."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press