There was a different feeling around Prince Amukamara’s locker on Thursday.
A feeling of optimism.
The Giants’ first-round pick practiced fully for the first time all season, and it sounds as though he’s going to make his NFL debut on Sunday night against Philadelphia.
“I’m still practicing and preparing like I’m gonna play this week,” said the rookie cornerback, who has yet to play a game this season because of a broken foot. “It’s really looking promising. I’m excited.
“I still think that’s a game-time decision, but I have been getting more reps. I’m sure they wouldn’t waste reps on anybody. But I definitely feel like it’s more promising this week.”
What makes you so optimistic?
“Well, just according to how practice is going and the more activity I’m doing, it just seems promising,” Amukamara said, who thinks he’d likely contribute just on special teams to start.
“Last week I was pretty limited and the week before, but this week I’ve been getting a lot of reps with the first team, but still doing scout team and helping out like that.”
Amukamara said he’s been taking about 60 reps in practice -- the same amount that a Giants’ defensive player normally takes in a game -- between special teams, scout team and being with the first-team defense. He thinks he could make it through 60 reps in a game.
He said he feels “sore” after practice, but it’s natural. “Definitely no pain,” he said.
What have you been doing better?
“I think consistency and the ability to finish practice and more burst to the ball,” Amukamara said.
Coach Tom Coughlin was asked about his confidence level when it comes to Amukamara having a grasp of the defense.
“He has to prove that part but he seems like he has not had a problem with that part,” Coughlin said.
Right now, Amukamara has no resume.
“He has to start building one,” Coughlin said.
How close is he?
“This is the middle of the third week, so I think he is pretty close,” Coughlin said.
Amukamara has travelled with the team the last two weeks, but has stayed inactive.
Said defensive coordinator Perry Fewell: “He has been getting better every week. I like what we saw out of him this week and Tom will make that decision on if he will participate this week or not. It is very encouraging and each week he gets us excited about some of the things that he does. A week ago he made a play on the sidelines and everybody erupted. He shows us flashes. We like what we see and again Tom will make the decision on when Prince can go.”