By Curt Macysyn
As the Dallas Cowboys proved last week, good teams play through injuries, as their leading tackler, Sean Lee, missed his team’s battle against the New York Giants game with a hamstring injury. Lee’s replacement, Ernie Sims, made the most of his opportunity and had 10 tackles in the middle for the Cowboys. For the Giants and Redskins, two teams struggling to find consistency, injuries can no longer be an excuse down the homestretch of the long NFL season.
Therefore, each week, as teams shuffle their line-ups, provides an opportunity for another player to prove his worth in the NFL.
This week, the G-men will showcase another offensive line combination, as backup center, Jim Cordle was placed on injured reserve after injuring his patella tendon against the Cowboys. Offensive guard Kevin Boothe will slide over into the center position for the remainder of the season. The remainder of the Giants injury list contains mostly pre-existing injuries, as only cornerback Trumaine McBride and Jim Cordle were injured in the Dallas game.
Notwithstanding that all indications point to the fact that Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is playing at less than 100 percent physically, Washington’s formal injury list is very light for this late in the season.
New York Giants
Giants wide receiver, Hakeem Nicks, who missed last week’s games against Dallas with an abdominal injury, once again appears on New York’s injury report. Nicks, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, has zero touchdown catches on the season. There were conflicting stories coming from Nicks and Giants head coach Tom Coughlin regarding the receivers inactive status against the Cowboys, so the situation bears watching for this game as well. To highlight the difficulties that the Giants offense has without Nicks in the lineup; Jerrel Jernigan had seven targets against the Cowboys and only could come up with two receptions.
Versatile offensive lineman Kevin Boothe will slide into the center position for the remainder of the regular season, as recent starter Jim Cordle was placed on the injured reserve list with a torn patella tendon. James Brewer will line up at Boothe’s left guard spot for the Giants, who signed offensive tackle Stephen Goodin off the practice squad to take Cordle’s roster spot. Will the Giants then put Brandon Mosley into the “jumbo” package to replace Brewer?
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has been nursing a shoulder injury and had only one tackle last week. JPP played only 24 percent of the snaps against Dallas, and he missed practice all week. The Giants announced on Friday that JPP would miss Sunday’s game. The fans have been clamoring to see more of rookie defensive end Damontre Moore (Texas A&M) anyway. Moore has already made a name for himself on special teams and appears to have a nose for the football.
Cornerback Terrell Thomas shows up on the injury report each week, but the team is providing Thomas time off, so as not to overtax his thrice-injured knee. Expect Thomas to play on Sunday.
Veteran running back Brandon Jacobs has been listed with knee and hamstring injuries since the game against the Chicago Bears on October 10th. But Jacobs had 75 yards rushing against the Cowboys and spelled fellow tailback Andre Brown very effectively. Jacobs will be unable to play this Sunday with a knee injury, so Peyton Hillis, who was inactive last week, will most likely see some game action. Hillis is an able blocker and receiver, although his speed out of the backfield is less than adequate.
Starting cornerback Trumaine McBride left the Cowboys game last week after re-injuring his groin muscle. McBride had originally injured himself in practice prior to the game against the Oakland Raiders, but was able to play that game and start against the Cowboys. Since McBride cannot go, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has a big decision to make. Safety Antrel Rolle was beaten in coverage down the stretch as Fewell sent Rolle to slot cornerback and brought safety Ryan Mundy into the game in Rolle’s spot after McBride got hurt.
Cornerback Corey Webster was seen on the practice field this week, but he still is not ready to go. The veteran defensive back has only played in four of 11 games this year, and he last saw action over a month ago, against the Philadelphia Eagles. Curiously, he shows up this week on the injury report with an ankle problem. The only other options at cornerback are rookie Charles James (Charleston Southern) and oft-injured defensive back Jayron Hosley. Look for the G-man to start Hosley and hope for the best
Starting tight end Jordan Reed was limited in practice as he continues to go through NFL-mandated concussion protocols. Reed missed the Redskins previous game against the San Francisco 49ers, which disrupted Washington’s passing game. On the season, he has 45 catches for 499 receiving yards and three touchdowns for the ‘Skins. Reed said this week that he “feels confident” that he will play against the Giants, which would be welcome news for Washington.
Backup tight end Niles Paul shows up on the injury report with an undisclosed illness and has missed practice this entire week. Paul was also nursing some bruised ribs from the 49ers contest last week. While Paul is listed as questionable, various reports do not sound encouraging.
If both Reed and Paul cannot play, back-up tight end Logan Paulsen would be thrust into a starting role. Paulsen is more of a blocker and has only 13 catches in 11 games this year.
Starting fullback Darryl Young has a pulled hamstring muscle and missed last week’s game against San Francisco. For someone who has just over 100 total yards all season, Young has four touchdowns to his credit this season. He is listed as questionable this week.
New York Giants
- CB Terrell Thomas (Knee)
- WR Hakeen Nicks (Abdomen)
- C Jim Cordle (Knee/Injured Reserve)
- DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Shoulder)
- CB Trumaine McBride (Groin)
- CB Corey Webster (Ankle)
- RB Brandon Jacobs (Knee)
- FB Darryl Young (Hamstring)
- TE Jordan Reed (Concussion)
- TE Niles Paul (Illness)
For more Giants news and updates, visit Giants Central.
Curt Macysyn has been covering the New York Football Giants for the past two seasons for Examiner.com. Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Curt has followed and covered the New York Metropolitan sports scene for 35 years. He attended Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, NJ and is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick. His work can be found on aExaminer.com.