Giants' Umenyiora gets work in, leaves to have knee examined

  • By Wire Reports
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Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora is showing some signs that he might be ready to practice with the New York Giants.

For the first time in almost a week, Umenyiora worked with team trainers at practice Wednesday, simulating snap counts. The 29-year-old, who hasn't practiced since reporting to training camp a day late on July 30, got down in his stance and made pass-rushing moves during his session.

Umenyiora looked explosive coming off the ball during the roughly 5-to-10 minute workout, showing no signs that his left knee was bothering him.

The nine-year veteran is upset the Giants have not reworked his contract, which will pay him $7.1 million over its final two years. He alleged that general manager Jerry Reese said after last season that the team would rework the contract. The former Troy product had 11.5 sacks last season and a league-high 10 forced fumbles.

After the workout, Umenyiora walked into the team's indoor practice facility for a couple of minutes and then came out and sat on a stationary bike while teammates practiced.

Roughly 40 minutes into the team's practice, Umenyiora peeled off his No. 72 jersey and walked off the field into the Giants' headquarters. He told NFL Network's Scott Hanson he was headed for a flight to Atlanta to have the knee examined.

A person familiar with Umenyiora’s status told The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.) he is dealing with a meniscus cartilage issue that could require surgery. The person requested anonymity because the extent of the injury has not been made public.

Umenyiora didn't immediately return an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Coach Tom Coughlin sounded optimistic that Umenyiora might practice soon.

"I hope we get some closure on that chapter and start on the new one," he said, adding that he has talked to Umenyiora frequently, encouraged him and told him to try to get on the field as soon as possible.

Coughlin reiterated that Umenyiora had issues with his hip last season and not his knee.

"I am thinking that whatever is in the best interest of our team right now, that's the only thing I've thought about," Coughlin said. "We will manage whatever we have to manage. We've done it. Like I said, the hip -- we couldn't practice both Wednesday and Thursday (last season) so we practiced one day under those circumstances. So if there's an issue here, we'll find a way to work with the issue. We'll find a way to get the player in the best position he could be in on Sunday."

Fellow defensive end Justin Tuck felt that Umenyiora's trip to Atlanta could be seen as a sign of progress in the dispute.

"It's movement," Tuck said, adding just as quickly that no one really knows when the situation will be resolved.

Guard David Diehl said that while teammates want Umenyiora to practice, they also understand the business side of the problem.

"He's got his own thing going on," Diehl said. "The only thing you can focus on are the guys that are playing and all we've been doing, making sure we are making progress."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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