- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Where would you like to start? The Giants have some sort of injury situation at every position right now, so you can kind of pick. I'm going to start with a guy who's probably going to play Sunday but whose inability to get fully healthy is hurting the team as much as anything that's going on right now.
That guy is defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who was a full participant in practice Wednesday in spite of a knee injury he says is a sprained MCL. Pierre-Paul is also coming off of offseason back surgery and has one sack in his last 11 games dating back to the middle of the 2012 season. He said Wednesday that he's playing as hard as he can, but he's not himself.
"I'm out there all over the field, trying to get that quickness back," Pierre-Paul said. "And until then... we'll see."
Pierre-Paul said his diminished "quickness" is hurting his ability to get off the ball. So it's not a matter of his ability to run down the quarterback as much as it is his ability to beat his blockers. He assumes it will all get better and he'll someday be the player he was back in 2011 when he had 16.5 sacks. But he has no idea when that will be.
In the meantime, Giants coach Tom Coughlin indicated rookie Damontre Moore could start to be more involved in the pass-rush rotation. That would mean fewer snaps for Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and/or Mathias Kiwanuka, and Pierre-Paul hopes it's not him who loses playing time to the rookie.
"For me, it's better to be out there as much as I can," Pierre-Paul said. "I'm a key part of this defense. Me not out there is not helping the team."
Perhaps. But right now when Pierre-Paul is out there, he's not helping the team as much as they need him to help it.
The Giants have issues on the internal portion of the defensive line as well. Defensive tackles Linval Joseph (ankle/knee), Cullen Jenkins (knee/Achilles) and Shaun Rogers (back) all missed practice, which could portend the debut of rookie defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins on Sunday. But even if Hankins is ready, Joseph in particular would be a significant loss. And the Giants need all the help they can get in their run defense against the league's leading rusher, Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy.
Cornerback Corey Webster missed the last two games with what the team called a hip injury but Webster on Wednesday clarified to say was in fact a groin problem. Webster was a limited participant in practice Wednesday, which means he worked for the first time in two weeks, and he believes he'll return to the field Sunday against the Eagles. Which is good, since they could be thin at cornerback. Jayron Hosley sat out Wednesday with a hamstring injury. Aaron Ross, who subbed for Webster the past two weeks, missed practice with a back injury. And Terrell Thomas is getting a day off every week to help maintain his surgically repaired knee. Wednesday was that day this week.
The offensive line remains a near-complete mess, with starting center David Baas (neck) and right guard Chris Snee (hip) continuing to miss practice. David Diehl (thumb) was a full participant, though, and if he can go Sunday he might start at one of the guard spots with either Jim Cordle at center or Kevin Boothe at center and James Brewer at the other guard.
Rounding out the list of the 10 Giants who didn't practice were linebacker Mark Herzlich (toe) and tight end Adrien Robinson (foot). It's possible they'd have to use Allen Bradford at middle linebacker if Herzlich can't go, but it's too early to know whether that will be the case. Robinson is starting to feel like a lost cause.
Safety Cooper Taylor (shoulder) and linebacker Jacquian Williams (knee) were full participants in practice, which is good news. Taylor missed Sunday's game and left the Giants with only two active safeties. That shouldn't be a problem this week as Will Hill is eligible to return from his drug suspension, though the Giants will have to release someone when they activate Hill.
Got it all? Good. We'll update you again Thursday.
3dDan Graziano and Adam Caplan