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Giants willing to wait on Strahan

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Two weeks into his holdout, the New York Giants have not set a deadline for seven-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan to report to training camp.

Coach Tom Coughlin said he has talked to general manager Jerry Reese many times about the Strahan situation since camp opened two weeks ago, but the team is still willing to give the 35-year-old time to decide whether he wants retire or to play a 15th season.

"We are fully aware we are going into the first preseason game, too," Coughlin said Thursday after the Giants practiced at the University at Albany.

Coughlin said that neither he nor Reese has spoken to Strahan in more than a week.

In an open letter to Giants fans last week, Strahan said he was holding out because he wasn't certain he wanted to play. He said his decision had nothing to do with money.

"Anyone who plays in the NFL with doubts or second guessing is not only putting themselves at risk, but their teammates also," Strahan said. "I will never do that."

Strahan would earn $4 million if he played this season. His fines for his holdout now total $200,032, but he won't have to pay anything if he retired.

Top receivers Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress won't play in the Giants' preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers on Saturday night, coach Tom Coughlin said.

Burress has been bothered by a sprained ankle for almost a week. Toomer, who had knee surgery in November, is not going to be pushed this early.

Coughlin also said starting DT Fred Robbins (calf), top draft pick CB Aaron Ross (hamstring-glut), S Ron Stone (hip), LB Gerris Wilkinson (knee), C Todd London (ankle), LS Ryan Kuehl (calf) and CB E.J. Underwood (hip) won't play.

Pro Bowl tight end Jeremy Shockey practiced on Thursday and will play, Coughlin said.

Quarterback Eli Manning didn't take many snaps in practice on Thursday, giving backups Jared Lorenzen, Anthony Wright and Tim Hasselbeck more work.

Manning will start against the Panthers and play a couple of series on Saturday. Lorenzen will replace him, and Wright will take over after that.

If Hasselbeck doesn't play, he will be the third quarterback in the second game against Baltimore on Aug. 19.

R.W. McQuarters will handle punt returns, although the majority of work will be handled by receivers Michael Jennings and Sinorice Moss.

NOTES: Former Giants linebacker Brad Van Pelt was at practice on Thursday. ... S James Butler intercepted a deep pass from Anthony Wright to Sinorice Moss, while fellow starting S Gibril Wilson picked off a Tim Hasselbeck throw. ... S Will Demps, who lost his starting job to Butler, also picked off a tipped pass in the end zone. ... PK Lawrence Tynes hit all four of his field goal attempts, while free agent PK Josh Huston made 1-of-2 from 35 yards. ... TE Kevin Boss, the fifth round draft pick, caught two deep passes from Wright.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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