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Saturday, October 1, 2011
Osi and Tuck fly to Arizona

By Ohm Youngmisuk

Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck flew to Arizona with the New York Giants and likely will play against the Cardinals on Sunday.

Both defensive ends, who are listed as questionable, said if they made the flight to Arizona, they would play.

Wide receivers Hakeem Nicks (knee) and Mario Manningham (concussion) are both also flying to Arizona and will play. Long snapper Zak DeOssie, who did not practice on Thursday and Friday due to a back injury, also will play on Sunday. The only Giants who did not make the trip are cornerback Prince Amukamara (foot) and wide receiver Brandon Stokley (quad).

If Umenyiora’s knee does not swell up, he is expected to make his season debut against the Cardinals. He missed the first three games of the season recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery he had on Aug. 19. Umenyiora practiced on a limited basis all week before joining the Giants on their trip.

“It feels good," Umenyiora said of his knee on Friday. “There's always going to be some sort of lingering issues or whatever. There's no swelling. It's good."

"I feel like I can play, but depending on what [Tom Coughlin] says, however they decide to use me, we'll go from there,” he added. “I think if they take me on the trip, I'm going to play."

Tuck did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday before going through a limited practice on Friday due to a strained groin and pain in his neck. The defensive end has been battling the neck issue since the preseason.

Tuck said the neck injury is limiting him from playing at his normal level and he’s worried it could trouble him throughout the season.

“Well if I get on that plane going to Arizona, I am playing," Tuck said on Thursday. “Honestly, they are trying to buy some time here. The less I can do, the less it will be aggravated. We are just buying time.”

Tuck and Umenyiora can always be held out by doctors if deemed necessary but the fact that the two are flying to Arizona means they will play barring something unexpected.

And that bodes well for Coughlin, who is expected to have his full arsenal of defensive ends -– Tuck, Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul –- for the first time this season. Pierre-Paul, who has 4.5 sacks starting in place of Umenyiora, said Umenyiora will start when he returns to action.