Help appears to be on the way for the New York Giants.
Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks will begin running this week but Coughlin is unsure of whether he will be cleared to practice after having surgery to relieve swelling in his leg two weeks ago.
"I know he will start to run," Coughlin said about Nicks on a conference call with reporters on Monday. "I don't know if that means he will be able to practice. But Steve will continue to practice and hopefully we will be able to move him along."
Smith, who did some limited work and caught passes last week, has missed four straight games with a strained pectoral muscle. He has been aiming to play against Minnesota but acknowledges that he will be limited by the injury for the rest of the season. Diehl has not played in the last four games with hip and hamstring injuries.
"I think we will have Dave Diehl practice like we did last week and advance him along," Coughlin said of Diehl, who did some work last week.
Coughlin said he is not sure about whether center Shaun O'Hara will be able to work this week. O'Hara has been out five games with a foot injury.
Also, tackle Shawn Andrews, who has missed the last two games and hasn't practiced in three weeks, is seeing improvement with his surgically-repaired back.
"There has been improvement but again I am not sure what the status will be Wednesday," Coughlin said.