Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Cruz, nine others miss Giants practice
By Dan Graziano ESPN.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- As New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin walked to the podium for his regular Wednesday news conference, someone mentioned something to him about the roster.
"What roster?" Coughlin joked, before reading a list of 10 players who would not practice Wednesday due to injuries.
The biggest name on the list is wide receiver Victor Cruz, who left Sunday's game with a concussion and a knee sprain. Coughlin said Cruz was going through the league-mandated concussion protocol but that the knee injury "will probably prevent him from doing anything." It does not sound as though Cruz can be expected to play Sunday in Detroit.
Cruz's backup at slot receiver, Jerrell Jernigan, also wasn't practicing, as he has a knee injury. Coughlin said he was "inspired" by the toughness Jernigan showed when thrown into Sunday's game as Cruz's replacement. The Giants put cornerback Corey Webster on injured reserve Tuesday so they could elevate wide receiver Julian Talley from the practice squad due to the numbers problem at that position.
Cornerbacks Terrell Thomas and Trumaine McBride and defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins are out with knee, groin and shin/quad injuries, but all three missed practice last Wednesday and still played Sunday. Running back Peyton Hillis is missing practice due to his concussion. Safety Cooper Taylor missed Sunday's game with a severe hamstring injury and remains out.
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul also remains out with the shoulder injury that has kept him out of the last three games.
Coughlin said he would have to adjust the way the team practices since only 43 members of the roster were able to work. He said the teaching portion of practice would be the same but that the "speed work" would be cut in half due to lack of numbers. Coughlin also said he hoped to have three or four from that group of 10 back at practice Thursday, though he couldn't say which specific three or four offered the most hope.
"Whoever comes through the door," Coughlin said, "we'll be happy to have them."