EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - With the media antsy for news in the elongated run up to the 2014 NFL Draft, New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese created a bit of a stir when he told reporters he did not thing quarterback Eli Manning would be able to participate in offseason workouts following an ankle debridement in April.
To everyone's surprise, Manning has not only been on the field just seven weeks removed from his surgery for the start of the Giants' organized team activities (OTAs) this week, he's moving around with no apparent physical limitations.
"I felt good; (I've been) doing everything, so it felt good to be back out there learning the offense and getting going," Manning said.
With the Giants installing a new offense, having their quarterback on the field at this point is a big bonus.
"It's huge," said head coach Tm Coughlin of having Manning out there on the field. "He can get the reps during the spring (to get) the offense down. But the time we come back, he'll be comfortable with it. He'll be able to communicate it by virtue of signals, so this is really very good."
What's more, Manning, who said he hasn't been experiencing any swelling or post-practice issues after working for two consecutive days, seems to have no limitations right now.
"Only on paper," Coughlin said with a smile. "We're two days in and he's running around, and I'm trying to slow him down, but he feels good."
For as much work as there is to be done, Manning said he's trying to be smart about things so as to not suffer a setback.
"The last few weeks I've been doing most things from a practice standpoint," he noted.
"We're still being smart with some things (and) not trying to overdo it. (We're) not trying to have consecutive days where we're doing a lot of pounding, a lot of jumping and landing on it, but just doing daily football activities."
Manning admitted that his sense of urgency to be out on the field was largely driven by the fact that the new offense is being installed.
"I think this year having a new offense definitely made me want to be out there with the team running plays," he said.
"It's one thing to watch it from the sideline and think you know what's going on, but sometimes you have to be right there at the line of scrimmage, making calls and checks and reads."
He's also not planning to take any time off from the OTAs to rest himself.
"Obviously this week I have three practices in a row; most days we have two and then a day off followed by two more, we're going to see how it's responding," he said.
"There's been no swelling after practice, no discomfort or issues. I'm just ready to keep going about my business, keep going out there on the field and take one day at a time and see how it feels."
--Running back David Wilson still has not received medical clearance to resume full football activities. That won't come until June 4, at the soonest, when Wilson has his next MRI, but that hasn't stopped him from participating in the non-contact OTAs.
Until then, Wilson is proceeding as though he'll get that clearance, and says he actually feels great these days.
"I have no pain at all; I'm capable of doing everything," he said. "We're just being careful because we've come so far and coaches don't want me to risk it by bumping into someone or falling down when I'm this close to my next appointment."
Wilson did admit to being just a little anxious with his next appointment being so close.
"I'll pray before I go in, but after that, it's out of my hands," he said.
If he doesn't get the clearance from the doctors, Wilson will start training camp on the PUP list. Of course, that's if they can keep the energetic young man on the sideline.
"If (the doctors) don't (clear me), I'll probably start kicking field goals," he said with a chuckle.
--What a difference a year has made for defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
Pierre-Paul has lowered his weight to 275 pounds and said that for the first time in a while, nothing is bothering him physically.