Thursday, December 19, 2013
Big Blue Morning: M*A*S*H
By Dan Graziano ESPN.com
Your daily morning check-in on news and notes about and of interest to the New York Giants.
The news of the day: The Giants had to adjust Wednesday's practice to account for the fact that only 43 of the 53 members of their active roster were physically able to participate. The missing 10 included wide receiver Victor Cruz, who left Sunday's game with a concussion and a knee sprain and seems extremely unlikely to play this Sunday in Detroit. If Cruz can't go, that likely means more slot-receiver work for Jerrel Jernigan, though he too was out Wednesday with a knee injury. The Giants also are dealing, as usual, with injuries on the offensive line.
Behind enemy lines: The Lions are dealing with injuries as well, though they didn't practice Wednesday since they were still recovering from a Monday night game. The biggest injury issue they have is an ankle injury to tight end Brandon Pettigrew, whose potential absence would reduce the explosiveness of quarterback Matthew Stafford and the passing game.
Around the division: Redskins linebacker London Fletcher announced Wednesday that he's likely to retire at season's end. That would mean his final game would be Dec. 29 against the Giants at MetLife Stadium. Fletcher's been a tremendous and somewhat underrated player for the Redskins, Bills and Rams, never missing a game, consistently ranking among the league leaders in tackles and serving as a leader everywhere he's been. This is what Giants quarterback Eli Manning had to say about Fletcher when I asked about him on Wednesday: "London, he's been a tremendous player and a great competitor. I've loved going against him twice a year just because you know you're going to get a smart player who's always going to challenge you and always going to bring his best game. I have great respect for him, and I guess you can be happy to not be facing him twice a year anymore because he makes it tough on you. He's one of the great guys in the NFL, a great competitor, and I admire what he's done."
Around the league: Yes, I did it. I put a kicker in the No. 10 spot on this week's MVP Watch. And I think Justin Tucker deserves the recognition.