After rooting for Giants, Jimmy Kennedy now is one

After growing a up a New York Giants fans, defensive tackle

Jimmy Kennedy is now going to get a chance to play for them.

The 31-year-old Kennedy officially joined the Giants on Tuesday

and is hoping to prove that he can be among the league’s top

tackles.

Kennedy is the first to admit that his play last season in

Minnesota was bad and it needs to improve soon. But he adds he was

bothered by tendinitis for more than two months.

Kennedy said he has worked hard in the offseason to get his knee

back in shape. And the Giants could use a healthy Kennedy after

seeing second-round draft pick Marvin Austin’s rookie season ended

by a torn pectoral muscle on Monday.

“I pray it works out here,” Kennedy said. “I mean, I’m a

fighter. I’ve been fighting all my life. It’s the NFL. There are 32

teams. But I’m going to do everything in my power to work my (rear

end) off to stay in New York.”

Kennedy, who grew up in Yonkers, N.Y., is excited to be back

home.

“It feels good to be home and around people that love you,” he

said. “But I want to make sure I continue to focus off the field,

that stuff is important to me.”

—(equals)

Devin Thomas has established himself as the Giants’ No. 1

kickoff returner.

The fourth-year receiver nailed down the job on Monday night,

averaging 46 yards on three returns, including a 73-yarder that set

up Brandon Jacobs’ go-ahead touchdown in the 41-13 win over the

Chicago Bears.

“I think the biggest adjustment is just making sure I catch it

on the run,” Thomas said.” Other than that, getting to the blocks

is pretty much just running. So, it matches up pretty well.”

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said fellow receiver Michael Clayton

made some monstrous blocks to open holes for Thomas.

—(equals)

Receiver Mario Manningham was not at practice on Wednesday

because he had to attend to some personal matters, Coughlin

said.

Left tackle Will Beatty sat out with a migraine headache. Jamon

Meredith replaced him at the starting left tackle spot.

Beatty had his right foot X-rayed at halftime of Monday night’s

game vs. Chicago. They were negative. It was the same foot Beatty

broke in the season opener last year. He said the discomfort on

Monday was the result of trying different shoes in the game.

And veteran center Adam Koets, who has been on the physically

unable to perform list because of lingering problems coming back

from an ACL injury, had arthroscopic surgery on his knee

Wednesday.

—(equals)

Giants quarterback Eli Manning says it won’t be weird seeing

Plaxico Burress in a New York Jets uniform on Saturday.

“You play in this league long enough, you’re going to play

against some (former) teammates,” Manning said of the receiver who

caught his game-winning touchdown pass in the Super Bowl against

New England in February 2008. “He was a great teammate for the

Giants. We had a great run together. Things happen and he’s with

the Jets now and playing well. I’m happy for him and look forward

to getting to see him. I haven’t seen him in a long time, so

looking forward to seeing him before the game or after the

game.”

Burress was released from prison in June after serving 20 months

for a weapons possession charge. He signed with the Jets this

summer after the players and owners agreed to a new CBA.