Eli Manning back to practice with helmet

8/25/2010 - NFL Eli Manning New York Giants + more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning practiced with a helmet on for the first time since suffering a 3-inch gash on his forehead during an Aug. 16 game against the Jets.

Manning had been practicing this week with a baseball cap on after having 12 stitches removed from his forehead last Friday. He said he wore a different helmet for Wednesday's practice than the one he previously wore, but not for extra padding inside.

"It is a different helmet but [there's] nothing special about it," Manning said after practice. "No new padding or anything. Just a little different helmet, and something with the chin strap just buttoned a little bit different than the way I used to just to ensure that it is on tight."

On the play in which Manning was injured, his chin strap loosened after a collision with teammate Brandon Jacobs on a busted play. The quarterback was then drilled from behind by Jets linebacker Calvin Pace, who sent Manning's helmet flying off. Manning then hit his forehead on Jets safety Jim Leonhard's facemask on the way down to the turf.

Manning said he will try this helmet for a few weeks and then make a decision whether to keep it. He said he had played with a similar helmet before, but not for a few years.

Manning will start on Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens after missing last Saturday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he is eager to see what he can do with a healthy first-team offense. Manning is just one of several starters who are expected to play in Baltimore in the third preseason game, which usually sees the regulars play the longest in the preseason.

Head coach Tom Coughlin, though, would not say how long Manning will play.

"I'm up for going as long as [Coughlin] wants the starters in there for," Manning said. "It is the third preseason game and you go out there and try to play well. I think we are in good shape and we are getting guys back healthy right now, which is probably the most important thing. The later you get into the preseason, right before the first game starts, you want to be as healthy as possible."

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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