EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jacquian Williams has been on the sideline too long for his own liking.
"I mean, it's time (to return)," Williams said Friday. "I practiced better. My team can use me. I'm ready. I'm just waiting on the release from the medical staff and the coaches."
After missing the past six games with a PCL injury he suffered on Oct. 14 against the 49ers, Williams is probable for this weekend's game against the Saints. Williams expects to be out there, but will first have to receive clearance.
"It's been a while so I'm very anxious," Williams said. "I'm ready. Like I said, my team needs me and I'm ready to go."
Williams, a sixth-round draft pick in 2011, is the team's speediest linebacker, with good sideline-to-sideline agility. He played in the first six games of the season before the injury, which had a timetable of about six to eight weeks of recovery. Williams practiced leading up to Monday's game against the Redskins, but was still ruled out.
This week, Williams practiced every day, including a full practice. He said he practiced more this week than he has since he suffered the injury -- and he's not worried about whether he's 100 percent, as he's going to give it his all come Sunday. During the recovery process, Williams never worried that his season was over.
"I always knew I'd be back," Williams said. "I take it a day at a time but I knew I was going to come back."
Williams is an underrated part of the Giants' defense, as the team uses him against athletic tight ends and other receivers. Having Williams would be helpful this weekend, as the Giants face New Orleans' superstar tight end Jimmy Graham. If active, Williams expects he'll be matched up up against Graham.
Teammates rave about what Williams brings to the defense.
"That's a huge boost for this team. He's a special talent, a guy who can come downhill in the run game and a guy who can get back and defend the ball," fellow linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said. "You can put him one-on-one with anybody."
Added linebacker Michael Boley: "He adds a more explosive, athletic factor to our defense. He’s a tremendous athlete. He does a lot of different things for us."
As Williams was trying to return to the field, safety Kenny Phillips was also working his way back from an MCL injury, and eventually played against the Packers on Nov. 25. Phillips re-aggravated his knee injury against Green Bay, which limited his snaps against Washington and has him listed as doubtful for Sunday.
Seeing Phillips' injury flare up again doesn't have Williams nervous.
"When you make that decision to go out there, you made that decision so you don't want to have anything negative in mind. I don't have anything negative," Williams said. "I'm going to play the whole game."