Recently signed running backs Ryan Torain and Kregg Lumpkin made their first appearances at a Giants team practice on Thursday. Neither is expected to contribute much on offense against the Redskins on Monday night (coach Tom Coughlin said it was a possibility, but wasn't very convincing), but they each have special teams experience and Torain has something else of value.
The Arizona State product appeared in 18 games for the Redskins over the last two seasons and could give the Giants' defense a window into Mike Shanahan's offense.
Of course, Torain never played with QB Robert Griffin III, so his pointers are specific to players, not scheme, which has changed a bit since RGIII's arrival.
“We all watch film, we all see what they can do,” Torain said. “I try to help them out as much as I can with individual players, they can take it for what it is, and hopefully it helps them.”
Shanahan previously said he was surprised that Torain was available for as long as he was, but the Giants were suddenly in need of a back after RB Andre Brown's season was cut short by a broken fibula (Brown is on short-term IR and could theoretically return for the Super Bowl).
CB Justin Tryon, Torain's teammate at Arizona State, said the former Redskin back is a good fit for the Giants because he's a "downhill runner" that's similar to Brown.
Lumpkin was nearly out of football: Lumpkin was working out and applying for jobs when the Giants invited him for a tryout earlier this week. In fact, the Georgia native said he had one offer from a mortgage firm in Atlanta.
“Every opportunity is an exciting opportunity so, you know, (I'm) just happy to even get offers,” Torain said.
Of course, the NFL is the most exciting offer of all.
Lumpkin said he'll get back to the corporate world when football is over, but as long as he's in uniform, he's focused on winning games.
Lumpkin -- a close friend of and collegiate teammate of former Giants RB D.J. Ware at Georgia -- played for the Seahawks at the beginning of the year, but was cut in September. He had 41 receptions for 291 yards with the Buccaneers in 2011.
Tyler Sash awaits: With the emergence of S Stevie Brown and the recent return of S Kenny Phillips from a sprained MCL, the Giants returned to their three-safety formation last week -- something that had been largely ignored since it was utilized in the team's Super Bowl run last season.
But when Phillips aggravated that injury in the fourth quarter, the formation wasn't completely abandoned. Rather, Sash came on the field and the defense held firm for a 38-10 win.
Phillips missed practice on Thursday. He could return on Friday, but if he can't play against the Redskins on Monday, Sash is ready to step in at any of the three safety spots.
“Cover 2 is Cover 2,” Sash said. “Cover 3 is Cover 3. You got to work on your technique. If you put in the work during the week, good things will happen throughout the game.”
Sash pointed out that S Antrel Rolle is really playing a nickelback role in the three-safety formation, which means he might only have to worry about the other two spots.
In any case, Sash's presence allows the Giants to stay in the formation, even if Phillips' knee keeps him off the field.
Who didn't practice? CB Jayron Hosley (shoulder) was a late addition to the injury report. He was limited at practice, and if his condition is serious, Rolle will likely be back at nickelback this Sunday.
C David Baas (shoulder), RT David Diehl (shoulder), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) and Phillips did not practice. WR Domenik Hixon (ankle) and LB Jacquian Williams (knee) were also limited.
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