Ugh! Did it really have to start this way? The New Meadowlands Stadium claimed its first injury victim Tuesday when New York Giants' wide receiver Domenik Hixon went down with an injured right knee during the open mini-camp practice in the afternoon.
Right now, the Giants say they do not know the severity of Hixon's injury.
"I'm not sure yet - we'll see," Coach Tom Coughlin said about Hixon's injury. "This turf kind of snagged his foot. We are hoping that it is not something serious. I think he will be sore tomorrow. The extent of it, I'm not sure right now. Domenik is a tough guy, now. He has fought his way through some things in the past. Hopefully, this is not something serious."
Hold your breath and hope, Giants' fans. We saw more than our share of injuries in 2009. Hixon is a guy whose play-making ability as a returner and in kick coverage would be hard to replace.
Another injury note. Defensive tackle Jay Alford, recovering from knee surgery, is not participating in mini-camp after he "tweaked his MCL" in a recent fall during an OTA workout.
- The Giants are estimating attendance for the workout at 10,000, but other reports are putting the number around 7,000.
- No matter the real attendance, the Giants were thrilled to get into the facility and begin checking out the playing conditions.
"It's good to be here, really good to be here," Coach Tom Coughlin said. "We needed to get in here. "To have an opportunity to work on the turf, to check the wind out - it is different from Giants Stadium," Coughlin said. "It is a different venue - it did swirl on us here today. Yhis has been a very good experience to come in here."
Osi Umenyiora worked with the second unit as Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka took first-team reps. For now, Osi is playing the good soldier. It is clear, though, that he expects to wind up as the starter this fall.
"If I truly, truly was not the best player, then I’d be cool with that," Umenyiora said when asked if he’d welcome a rotation of defensive ends with Mathias Kiwanuka, adding: "The minute in my mind I’m playing the way I’m capable of playing and I’m not on the field, then of course it’s going to be a problem. But you know, I don’t think that’s going to happen."
- Retired punter Jeff Feagles was at the workout to tutor rookie punters Matt Dodge and Jy Bond. Feagles said he may start a business as a kicking consultant.
"The full-time coaching thing is not something I want to do because of my time I want to spend with family and things like that," Feagles said. "However, in talking to John [Carney], he implied to me a little bit here and there will help the young guys, especially on game days when special-teams coaches are concentrating on the game. They don't have a lot of time to work a young guy who's on the sideline through problems or whatever. So that's a good opportunity."
In reality, it is surprising that teams have not already begun to hire kicking coaches. Maybe Feagles will start a new trend.
- Kenny Phillips is not practicing during this mini-camp, but Mike Garafolo reports that Phillips is progressing. And he is getting antsy to get on the field.
"He's getting better every day," coach Tom Coughlin said Monday. "You just have to have great confidence that he wants it so badly he can hopefully overcome anything. He's making steady progress, and we still have the very good circumstance that (his knee) doesn't swell."