EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Defensive tackle Marvin Austin said his back is feeling better, but he will undergo further tests, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.
Coughlin was asked if Austin has suffered any structural or muscular damage to his back, which was examined Tuesday.
"Structural being what? I mean, they are dealing with some issues there," Coughlin said. "I am not going to tell you exactly what it is. We are going to have to wait and see. He is not going to be able to play this week."
"He said he felt pretty good today," Coughlin added. "A lot of the early symptoms were no longer there. They are going to do another set of tests on him. We are hoping within a reasonable amount of time he can come back and play."
The Giants' defensive tackles have been hammered by injuries. On Thursday, the team waived injured linebacker Clint Sintim and injured defensive end Justin Trattou to make room for defensive tackle Bobby Skinner, as well as cornerback/returner Laron Scott. The Giants then waived Skinner after one practice and signed former Denver defensive tackle Marcus Thomas.
"We found ourselves in need of players at a certain position and we felt it was probably the best way to go for both," Coughlin said. "Clint is probably a ways away. In (Trattou's) case, the doctors tell us he is quite a ways away and we felt this was something we needed to do to bolster the (defensive tackle) spot."
When he met with reporters earlier in the day, Austin said he did not suffer any serious issues with his back.
"I don't think it is going to be something that lags on," Austin said. "That is why we want to get everything right now, so it won't be something that goes on for a period of time."
The Giants practiced on Thursday without left tackle Will Beatty (back), linebacker Michael Boley (hamstring), linebacker Jacquian Williams (hip), cornerback Michael Coe (hamstring), tight end Travis Beckum (knee) and defensive tackle Chris Canty (knee). Coughlin said Beatty's back is still very much an issue.
"They evaluated him last night and they felt like if he kept going the way he is right now, he would have only gotten worse and worse," Coughlin said. "They shut him down."
Sintim, 26, was not going to be able to return for some time. The team's second round pick in 2009 was on the team's PUP list and failed his physical. Considered a long shot to make the team after suffering a torn ACL and patellar tendon last preseason, he hasn't played since last preseason.
Sintim also tore his ACL near the end of the 2010 season. The team drafted him with high hopes out of Virginia, where he had 245 tackles and 27 sacks in 49 games. Sintim played in 24 games in his first two seasons with the Giants and had nine tackles during his career.
It was going to be difficult for Sintim to make the final roster with an already-crowded linebacker unit. The Giants have Boley, Mathias Kiwanuka, Chase Blackburn, Williams, Keith Rivers, Mark Herzlich, Greg Jones and Spencer Paysinger and might still have a tough cut to make down the road.
Trattou, 23, entered camp as a candidate to fill Dave Tollefson's role as backup defensive end. But he suffered an ankle/heel injury early in a camp practice and has been out. Adrian Tracy figures to back up Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora now. The Giants did like Trattou's potential.
The Giants' defensive tackle unit has been in flux all week. The team lost Shaun Rogers for the season due to a blood clot in his leg. Backup defensive tackle Martin Parker was waived/injured after he needed surgery for a herniated disk in his back. Austin is sidelined for now and Canty is on the PUP list and may not be ready to start the season.
The Giants signed defensive tackles Oren Wilson and Carlton Powell on Wednesday and brought in Thomas for a workout before signing him. The 6-3, 307-pound Thomas played his first five seasons in Denver and had 180 tackles, one sack and two interceptions in 34 starts.
"It was a wild week for us, to say the least," Austin said. "It was a tough week for the D-tackle position."