Running back Peyton Hillis reported to the New York Giants in tremendous shape — perhaps the best shape of his entire career. It was enough to draw praise from head coach Tom Coughlin, but not enough to prevent him from being sidelined with an early injury.
Hillis suffered a "muscle strain" late last week and has been riding the stationary bike ever since, missing all four Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices this week. And while he insists it's not big deal, he couldn't definitively say whether or not he'll be able to return by the start of next week's mandatory mini-camp.
"I think I did it around the first day of practice that we were out on the field and I played with it for a week and a half and strained it a little more this past Thursday," Hillis told The Star-Ledger. "But I’ve been getting better, been getting healthy, hopefully I’ll make it out by mini-camp."
Whether or not Hillis is able to take part in mini-camp, the veteran running back remains determined to make a larger impact here in 2014 and, perhaps, revitalize his career. However, that's not an easy task given the free agent addition of Rashad Jennings, the optimism surrounding David Wilson's return and the selection of Andre Williams in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Still, that's nothing new for Hillis, After all, he's spent his entire NFL career having to prove himself and earn snaps when no one was giving him a chance.
"That’s been the story ever since I got in the league. They always draft another back, you just have to go out there and do your best and hopefully things work out," Hillis said. "That’s the name of the game. I was born this way, this is what was put in front of me, this obstacle I have to overcome. Hopefully, God willing, I’ll do that."
Hillis has a tall order ahead of him — especially if he's sitting on the sideline with an injury — but for those who have not seen him yet this Spring, do not put anything past him. He showed up in Steve Weatherford-like shape and impressed early on.
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