The first practice of the 2011 regular season revealed two pieces of good news for the Giants.
First and foremost, the still-lingering stinger DE Justin Tuck incurred against the Jets is not expected to keep him out of Sunday's opener in Washington. Though the defensive captain did not practice Monday, he could return Wednesday and be at full speed in time for the Redskins.
That's no surprise, considering Tuck has proved in the past that he has a super-high pain threshold. Remember, he played an entire rest of the season with a bum shoulder after Flozell Adams tripped him in 2009.
Tuck told the media that his neck "feels good" and that it remains to be seen if he practices Wednesday. But rest assured that if there's any way he can get on the field Sunday, even without practice this week, he'll be there.
The other piece of good news involved the tight end situation. The Giants have just two tight ends on the roster after the final cuts -- Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard -- and Beckum doesn't block. But Tom Coughlin said Bear Pascoe, a willing and enthusiastic blocker in the fullback role last season and an able pass catcher, will probably be used more as a tight end this year than fullback.
That's a good thing, since tight end is really Pascoe's trade. Throwing him in as the move tight end, with the beefy Ballard serving as the blocking tight end will leave Beckum to do what he does best -- catch passes from a slot or wide position.
With a little luck, Pascoe can become the newest version of Kevin Boss.
One other great piece of news. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has settled on Rex Grossman as his quarterback. If he plays as well as he has in his other stops, the Giants' pass defense could be in for a huge day.
The bad news is that DE Osi Umenyiora, still rehabbing from arthroscopic knee surgery, will not be available for the opener. So Jason Pierre-Paul will start.
The Giants still have one spot open on their practice squad after signing waived RB Andre Brown, LB Adrian Tracy, TE Christian Hopkins, DE Justin Trattou, QB Ryan Perrilloux, OL Jim Cordle, and DT Dwayne Hendricks Sunday. Brown and Tracy were former Giants draft picks.