Phillips, out since Week 2 of last season, stood on the practice field with helmet and jersey on. The only thing separating him from his teammates at Friday's organized team activity was the fact that he had on sneakers rather than cleats. The safety is eager to practice, but the team remains cautious with Phillips, who watched his teammates practice.
"Just being safe right now," Phillips said. "Not trying to push it, not trying to rush it. [I can] run, I can do other things, a little bit of cutting. Just taking it real slow right now."
Phillips continues to rehabilitate his left knee after surgery after Week 2 in 2009 to help with patellofemoral arthritis, a degenerative condition. He reiterated on Friday that he will be ready to practice by the start of training camp in August even if it means starting off with one practice a day initially.
"All I know is what they tell me," coach Tom Coughlin said. "He is making progress. I just know that he is running. He is happy, he is getting better. There is no swelling. So those things are good."
The Giants were concerned enough about Phillips' health that they went and signed Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant in free agency and selected another safety, Chad Jones, in the third round of the draft. Rolle and Grant worked with the first team in the OTA while safety Moichael Johnsonalso sat out with a strained quad.
"There is definitely some pride back there," Coughlin said of how the secondary looked Friday. "Antrel Rolle is kind of a take-charge personality. So I like that aspect of it. Deon Grant has been good."
Phillips did do some running with the team, but that was about it.
"We had tested it a few times during certain drills," Phillips said. "I feel like I can go out there and do some things, especially at the start of training camp."
Perhaps the hardest thing for Phillips to do right now is take things slowly.
"I've gotten good reports, I feel great, no pain, no swelling," he said. "Just basically being safe. We have no reason to rush it. Just taking our time."