ALBANY, N.Y. -- Aaaand we're back. Sorry for the technical difficulties that knocked out the blogs for much of this afternoon. These things do, unfortunately, happen. But things are back up and running now, and I can fill you in on what I saw this afternoon at the New York Giants' first practice of 2012 training camp.
The one sort of newsy element was the status of cornerback Terrell Thomas, who's recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that cost him the entire 2011 season. Thomas left practice early and did not return, but coach Tom Coughlin said afterwards that it was Thomas' back, not his knee, that was bugging him. No one seems to think it's a long-term issue, but it underscores Thomas' status as a question mark in the secondary until we see him on the field regularly. Interestingly, it was Michael Coe and not Prince Amukamara who took over Thomas' first-team reps while he sat out. Amukamara did intercept an overthrown David Carr pass while in double coverage on rookie wide receiver Rueben Randle during team drills, but he was working with the second-teamers.
Rookie running back David Wilson is working with the third-team offense, which I think is telling. Just because he was this year's first-round pick doesn't mean Wilson is a sure thing to be the backup running back behind Ahmad Bradshaw. And it certainly doesn't make him a threat to split carries with Bradshaw, in answer to a question I was asked on Twitter recently. Wilson will have to outplay incumbents D.J. Ware, Andre Brown and Da'Rel Scott in order to get carries. And while you might not think that sounds difficult, it's important to remember that the Giants are going to play the guys who play the best in camp. Wilson had at least one nice catch out of the backfield, and if he keeps doing that and shows something in pass protection, he can only help himself. He obviously has plenty of speed.
Chase Blackburn was the first-team middle linebacker betwen Michael Boley (who had a great day) and Mathias Kiwanuka. Mark Herzlich was the second-team middle linebacker with Keith Rivers working at one of the outside spots. That second-team unit showed a lot in coverage, and I believe Jacquian Williams was the other second-team outside linebacker.
Fullback Henry Hynoski was used as a receiver out of the backfield, which is interesting given the question marks the Giants have at tight end. If Martellus Bennett struggles to catch the ball, as he did in Dallas, the Giants might be able to make up for that by leaning on Hynoski more in the passing game.
Left tackle Will Beatty told us before practice that he'd been struggling with a sciatic-nerve problem since organized team activities and expected to be limited in practice, but he seemed to take all of the first-team reps at left tackle. The Giants used Bennett as a blocker on Beatty's side a fair amount.
People have asked about defensive tackle Marvin Austin. I didn't take note of anything he did Friday, but I promise to watch him more closely Saturday, since we're all curious to see what he brings after not playing a real game in more than two years.