Phillips plans to return Sunday vs. Packers

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Giants safety Kenny Phillips hopes to play against the Packers on Sunday after missing the past six games with a sprained MCL. The safety had planned to be back against Pittsburgh on Nov. 4, but couldn't recover in time.

"I felt good about Pittsburgh. I feel a lot better about this one," Phillips said with a laugh. "I haven't practiced yet, but I still feel pretty good (about playing)."

Phillips participated in the team's practice on Monday, describing his involvement as the team allowed him to run around on his own and participate in the drills. He said he hopes to do the same on Tuesday, and then practice with the team on Wednesday as they prep for Green Bay.

Phillips injured his knee against Philadelphia on Sept. 30, and the original timetable was four to six weeks. The veteran didn't think he would be out for that much time and pushed himself to get out there. He came closest to returning against Pittsburgh, as he practiced all week leading up to that game and said he would play, but he was ultimately held out. The Giants were 4-2 in his absence, winning the first four games.

"My intention was (to be) playing. I went through the week practicing, but right before the game I didn't feel I could help the team," Phillips said. "Probably would have hurt them more than I would have helped, and I definitely would have hurt myself. We got another MRI and we just decided to take some time off."

Phillips said that the MRI taken after the Pittsburgh game showed he was healing fine, and he and the training staff decided that rest would be the best remedy. Each week they had tried something different, be it the effort he put into his running or the type of running he did, but it didn't make a difference. Phillips believes he made the right decision in sitting out as his health has improved.

"It feels a whole lot better," Phillips said. "The trainers and myself felt like some of the things we were doing really wasn't working out so we kind of switched the game plan and tried some new things. Thus far, it feels pretty good. Hopefully, when I get out there Wednesday I'll be able to practice and play this week."

When Phillips comes back, the Giants will try to utilize their three-safety package that was so successful last year. Backup Stevie Brown has played well in Phillips' absence with all his turnovers and has made it hard for the coaches to take him off the field.

"We like to think we can," Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said last week about the three-safety look. "Obviously, we'd like to get Kenny back to practicing and see how we can incorporate that package. That's in my plans. That was in my plans a couple of weeks ago. I'm looking forward to when he can come back and we can actually put that together."