EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Antrel Rolle doesn't mess around when it comes to injuries.
The New York Giants safety has played with torn rotator cuffs and a "jacked-up" knee over the past couple of seasons. So even though he said he felt "one of the worst pains that I felt probably in my lifetime" when he sprained his right ankle Monday, Rolle had shed his protective walking boot by Wednesday.
"Boots are for the wimps, man. I'm not a wimp," Rolle cracked. "Nah, I mean, just taking it as it goes. The first day obviously was the worst. I have been grinding until about 3 in the morning since it's happened, just trying to get better."
It's no wonder why Tom Coughlin practically scoffed when asked if it's feasible that Rolle could be ready for the season opener against Dallas on Sept. 8. Coughlin said he's wondering about Rolle coming back in a week, never mind Week 1.
"That's not even a question," Rolle said about the opener. "That's my goal. I don't know what everybody else's expectations are, but if I can play, I am going to go. It doesn't matter if it is this week, it doesn't matter if it is next week, it doesn't matter if it is Week 1. I am never the kind of guy that is going to milk an injury. If I can go, I am going to go."
"Right now, it feels a million times better than it did initially," he added. "Just a lot of praying and hard work at night. I am just happy that I am as far along as I am right now."
Rolle said the pain he felt Monday when he came down on his ankle was excruciating. He has missed just one regular-season game in the past seven years due to injury, in 2009 while with the Cardinals.
He played through pain in his knee for several weeks after banging it on a camera on the sideline in Carolina in Week 3 last year.
"The knee was worse because it just lingered so long," Rolle said. "It took me maybe about eight or nine weeks to actually get the fluid out of my knee. But this, initially, this is one of the worst pains that I felt probably in my lifetime."
"It hurt just that much," he added. "One of my biggest pet peeves for myself is to lay on the ground, especially after being injured or having something of that nature take place. I tried to get up and walk off. I took three steps and said I couldn't bear it. So for me to tap out like that, you must know it is something excruciating."
Yet two days later, Rolle was out of his walking boot and had no brace or anything on his right ankle.
Ryan Mundy will see first-team snaps in Rolle's absence. But Rolle might not be out as long as first anticipated, which could have been a few weeks.
"If I didn't need the boot, I wasn't going to walk around with the boot," Rolle said. "I have been strengthening my ankle and calf each and every day. I do it when I am in meeting rooms. I do it all day long. The training staff here has been phenomenal."
"My injury is not going to be a factor," he added.