Giants' banged-up receiving corps expected to return to practice

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants are finally going to get some of their top receivers back at practice.

Coach Tom Coughlin disclosed on Tuesday that veteran Amani Toomer (knee), second-year pro Steve Smith (hamstring) and rookie Mario Manningham are expected to return to practice on Wednesday.

"Amani feels good and I am hoping that he can go and get right back in here and not have to be too concerned with what he does and doesn't do," Coughlin said in a conference call to review the Giants 37-34 win over the Cleveland Browns. "We are going to have to spoon feed Manningham and Smith back in and I am hoping that doesn't take more than just a day to do that."

Toomer and Smith have practiced on and off since training camp started, but Manningham has missed almost all of camp.

Coughlin hopes the third-round draft choice from Michigan will be able to play on Saturday night in the preseason game against Brett Favre and the New York Jets at Giants Stadium.

"If he can practice and hold up through the practices, I am figuring that he would then get the green light and if he does get the green light, we will figure a way for him to play," Coughlin said of Manningham. "He needs to play."

Coughlin did not say how much Plaxico Burress would practice this week. He participated in individual drills during the final week of training camp after missing practice time through most of camp with a stability problem with his right ankle.

Wide receiver Brandon London, who has played well in training camp, re-injured a shoulder against the Browns and it was sore on Tuesday, Coughlin said.

The return of Toomer, Smith and Manningham will come just two days after Domenik Hixon put on a show against the Browns. He made two tip-toe touchdown receptions on passes from Eli Manning, and returned a free kick 82 yards for another touchdown.

"The offensive line did a great job of blocking and Eli put the ball right where it needed to be," Hixon said.

The biggest news on the call involved injuries.

Halfback Kay-Jay Harris suffered ankle and mid-foot injuries that Coughlin said are serious.

"He will be a guy that we will have to decide on how we are going to handle that," Coughlin said.

Anthony Wright, who is battling David Carr for the backup quarterback job, strained his back late in the first half. It is considered serious. Coughlin hopes to have him back this week.

Carr hit 7 of 14 passes for 53 yards and led the Giants to their final touchdown.

"David did some good things, he really did," Coughlin said. "Some of the things that didn't go quite as well, I am sure when he looks at the tape he will feel more strongly about it. I think he did manage, for the most part, the game well and I think we benefited from the long kickoff return and the short drive, but we did drive it and get it in the end zone and he was the quarterback at that time."

Notes: PK Lawrence Tynes was supposed to be out 10 days with a knee injury, but Coughlin is not sure whether he will be back on Wednesday. ... The coach had a lot of praise for defensive tackles Fred Robbins and Barry Cofield. ... While it did not look like he was on the field a lot, rookie safety Kenny Phillips got 17 plays. No defensive player had more than 21. ... Coughlin was upset with coverage on kick returns.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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