For the first time this preseason, Giants" data-canon="New York Jets" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM" id="shortcode0"> first-round pick David Wilson took reps with the first-team offense Monday. But even though second-string running back D.J. Ware played poorly Saturday against the Jets (11 carries, 15 yards), coach Tom Coughlin didn’t want the media reading into Wilson’s ascension.

“He hadn’t had those reps with the first group, and we wanted to take a look at that,” Coughlin said, adding that this “was scheduled.”

Wilson, who had just 26 yards on eight carries against the Jets on Saturday, tossed a touchdown pass to receiver Jerrel Jernigan on an option play at Monday’s practice. But what may have been more significant was the way the first-round pick got outside the tackles. Even though the Giants weren’t at full speed, Wilson’s quickness in turning the corner was obvious.

It’s not clear if Wilson is now the top backup behind Ahmad Bradshaw, but Coughlin did note that Ware dropped a screen pass Saturday.

“I think that was right after the punt protection,” Coughlin said, referring to the blocked punt on which Ware failed to pick up his blocking assignment Saturday. “Maybe that was on his mind.”

Bradshaw was active Monday but was held out of team drills because he still has some swelling in his hand (Bradshaw ended Saturday’s game with a compression sock on his right hand after rupturing a cyst). Coughlin said he thinks Bradshaw could have practiced, but the Giants wanted to take every precaution with their primary ball carrier’s right hand.

Hakeem Nicks shines in return to practice: Now that he’s been “limited” at practice for three days following the end of his stint on PUP, Nicks was able to fully participate on Monday for the first time this season.

His two most-impressive catches of the day were a touchdown grab over Amukamara and a back-shoulder reception while being smothered along the sideline by Webster. Coughlin said Nicks looked good, but the coach didn’t know if Nicks would be able to play in either of the remaining two preseason games.

“We’re going to go slow that there’s never a setback,” Coughlin said. “He’s very anxious to do more.”

Nicks previously said he expected to take 50 percent of the snaps on Monday, which is about what he appeared to be doing.

Jacquian Williams returns to practice: After battling with a hip issue for weeks, Williams returned at weakside linebacker Monday and even made an impressive interception along the sideline.

It was unclear if Williams got his feet in bounds, but safeties coach Dave Merritt appeared to signal it was a clean interception.

“Seemed to move around well,” Coughlin said. “He didn’t have any issues.”

Coughlin said he didn’t know whether Williams coulc return to play in a preseason game.

Still no Will Beatty: The Giants practiced without Beatty again, which significantly increases the chances that Sean Locklear makes the team.

“He’s a veteran football player,” Coughlin said of Locklear. “He knows his job. He knows what he’s doing.”

Coughlin said Locklear had some issues with communication issues, but “by and large he’s done well.”

Of course, if Beatty were going to be out for awhile, the Giants could move veteran right tackle David Diehl back to the blind side. For now, Coughlin said he’s keeping Locklear there because he’s played well and because he wants to see this group work together.

“There’s going to have to be flexibility, whether Sean plays left or right or whether David Diehl plays left or right or that type of thing,” Coughlin said. “But, you know, we obviously expect and live in expectation that Beatty will come back to the practice field. If something would happen otherwise we would have to do something.

“And of course, it’s close,” Coughlin continued, referring to the Sept. 5 opener against the Dallas Cowboys. “We’re getting close and those five guys need to play together.”

A pain in the neck for Justin Tuck: The veteran defensive end was seen having his neck and shoulders massaged and iced during Saturday’s preseason win over the Jets, but Tuck insisted there isn’t a problem there.

“I’m good,” Tuck said. “I know a lot of people ask me about why I keep icing my shoulder. I’m just getting ahead of it.”

Tuck had a second surgery on his shoulder in the offseason, but he also dealt with neck and groin issues last year, so he said he’s being proactive about all of his past injuries.

“My shoulder felt great,” Tuck said. “If you look at the Jacksonville game, I did the same thing. And if you could all be in the locker room after games in the regular season, I’m going to do the same thing. Just a precaution I guess.”

Prince Amukamara improves: Tuck also said that he’s noticed cornerback Prince Amukamara playing with more confidence.

“It just seems like he’s had probably the best string of practices over the last two weeks that I’ve seen and a lot of that has to do with his confidence level,” Tuck said. “And as it continues to grow, I think he’s going to continue to grow as a football player.”

Amukamara has continued to be very physical at the line of scrimmage. Clearly he’s someone that is going to play a lot of bump-and-run coverage.

Who didn’t practice? RB Andre Brown (unknown), WLB Michael Boley (hamstring), DB Brandon Bing (hamstring), OT Will Beatty (back), CB Michael Coe (hamstring), CB Jayron Hosley (toe) and DT Marvin Austin (back) as well as the PUP players DT Chris Canty (knee) and TE Travis Beckum (knee).

Coughlin said Austin is making progress, but there’s some question as to whether he can practice on his medication. If it’s determined that he can, Austin may be able to return sooner rather than later.

Coughlin also said Hosley is battling soreness, so the trainers are working to keep him off his feet.

Follow the Giants and Alex Raskin @CBSSportsNFLNYG and @AlexRaskinNYC.