Ballard returns, is limited in practice

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tight end Jake Ballard, who has missed the last two weeks with a PCL knee injury, returned to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday.

"I was limited, moved around pretty well. I will get more reps tomorrow and go from there," Ballard said.

When asked if he is hopeful about playing on Sunday against the Falcons, the team's top tight end replied, "Yeah, absolutely."

Ballard, who has not played since injuring his knee against the Redskins three weeks ago, did some running last week before the team held him out of any more work the rest of the week.

"It wasn't very pretty," he said of his running last week.

Running back Ahmad Bradshaw and linebacker Mark Herzlich were the only two Giants who did not practice Wednesday. Bradshaw typically sits out a couple of practices each week as part of his routine to rest his foot. Herzlich, who has not played since the New Orleans game last month, tested his ankle in the jog-through portion of practice and still feels some pain. He will see how it feels tomorrow.

"Got out there and did some of the jog-through and still not pain-free, so that is why [we] pulled back a bit," Herzlich said. "Definitely progress. Getting back on the field in pads today is the step in the right direction. See how it feels tomorrow coming out and see what the soreness level is like."

Defensive end Osi Umenyiora (ankle) and running back Da'Rel Scott (knee) went through limited practices.

Wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham practiced and were not listed on the pre-practice injury report. Nicks dealt with a hamstring injury and Manningham had a knee injury last week.