EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants were relatively injury free through the first four practices of training camp. They weren't as fortunate on Wednesday as linebacker Jameel McClain went down with what head coach Tom Coughlin called a "stinger" early in the first 11-on-11 session of the team's initial padded practice.
McClain, 30, was the Giants' leading tacker a year ago with 116. This season, he has been functioning as the second-team middle linebacker behind Jon Beason. Coughlin said McClain would undergo "all the tests."
While with the Baltimore Ravens in 2012, McClain suffered a spinal cord contusion that ended his season after 13 games. The injury also caused him to miss the first six games of the 2013 season.
The Giants had some other injured players on the sidelines Wednesday during a practice closed to the public due to a 'One Direction' concert set for MetLife Stadium.
- Left tackle Ereck Flowers sat out again due to his hip flexor. Flowers told reporters he expects to be back quickly.
- Safety Nat Berhe, who missed all of the spring practices with a calf injury, did not practice. The Giants said the calf was the reason why.
- Center Weston Richburg was rested due to a flareup of knee tendinitis.
- Cornerback Prince Amukamara came off the field during practice with what Coughlin said was a "groin strain."
First padded practice "sluggish"
There weren't exactly a whole lot of highlights during Wednesday's practice. The action was sloppy with a lot of incompletions and a lot of pressure on the quarterbacks.
"It was kind of sluggish, as it usually is the first time in full pads," Coughlin said. "They've got to learn how to handle that, and they will."
Coughlin was happy to see a few running plays that appeared to be successful, saying "that's something."
Offensive line shuffle continues
With Flowers out, Justin Pugh again played left tackle with Adam Gettis at left guard. Geoff Schwartz shuffled between right guard and right tackle, as he had on Monday. Marshall Newhouse started at right tackle and when Schwartz moved outside John Jerry took over at guard. Dallas Reynolds was at center with Richburg sidelined.
Schwartz was beaten badly by Robert Ayers on one pass play, with Ayers getting to Eli Manniing before the right tackle could even get a hand on him.
A fight broke out between linemen for the second straight practice. This was a real heavyweight matchup featuring 6-foot-8, 340-pound offensive guard Michael Bamiro and 6-5, 315-pound defensive tackle Dominique Hamilton. A few punches were thrown and then the fight was quickly broken up.
Another day, another contest
On Sunday the Giants concluded practice by having offensive and defensive linemen compete in a punt-catching contest. Wednesday, practice ended with a wide receivers vs. defensive backs passing contest, where the object was to hit the crossbar from roughly 20 yards away. It didn't go well, with an exasperated Coughlin eventually declaring both sides losers and making the entire team do pushups. Out of roughly 20 throws combined, each side only hit the crossbar once.
"It wasn't pretty," said the coach.
Here are a few notable plays from practice.
- Third-round pick Owamagbe Odighizuwa flashed in the pass rush. He was an equal opportunity right tackle abuser, badly beating both Marshall Newhouse and Brandon Mosley with his quickness off the ball on separate occasions.
- Early in practice, Adrien Robinson came from the edge and would like have blocked a punt by Robert Malone in a live situation.
- There was a unique double fumble during 11-on-11 drills. Eli Manning, still without an interception in five practices, completed a pass to Rueben Randle. He fumbled and rookie safety Landon Collins recovered, only to fumble it himself when he began to run. Tight end Larry Donnell ended up with the ball.
- Rookie Geremy Davis had the catch of the day, a sliding grab across the middle. Couldn't tell who was in coverage.
The Giants return to practice Thursday afternoon. That session will be open to the public, and offensive linemen will be signing autographs following practice.