The New York Giants are getting ready to start the challenging portion of their schedule with a matchup against the Patriots on Sunday in New England, and news out of Giants camp Thursday indicated that they might have to move forward without the help of top running back Ahmad Bradshaw.
Mike Garafolo of The Star-Ledger reports that Bradshaw cracked a bone in his foot Sunday against the Dolphins and is out indefinitely. Mike also reports, according to his sources, that Bradshaw has been telling teammates he might only miss two weeks while the possibility exists that he might need season-ending surgery:
In any case, it's obvious the Giants are headed to New England with Brandon Jacobs set to carry the load. Jacobs has struggled this season and gained only 10 yards on four carries against Miami but vowed earlier this week to have a changed attitude that will result in his "scoring these touchdowns" moving forward.
Tom Coughlin told reporters during his Thursday press briefing that no decision has been made on whether Bradshaw will have surgery, and that he's played with stress fractures in the past. And ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Twitter that a "person familiar with Bradshaw's injury texted this: 'Not serious injury -- should play Sunday. No surgery (needed).'"
So, stay tuned, I guess. But if Bradshaw is out for an extended period of time, there are a couple of ways to look at it. First, the Giants weren't running the ball worth a darn anyway, ranking 30th in the league this season in rush yards per game. They were winning without much of a statistical contribution from Bradshaw, and so it's fair to think they could go on winning without him -- especially since they have depth at the position with Jacobs, D.J. Ware and Da'Rel Scott.
But while he hasn't run for many yards this season, Bradshaw is an asset in the passing game. He's a good receiver out of the backfield and is regarded as one of the very best running backs in the league in blitz pickup and pass protection. They'll have to replace more than his rushing yards if he has to miss significant time.
Also, with the schedule turning much more difficult the rest of the way, one could argue that the Giants aren't going to get by running the ball as ineffectively as they have so far and asking Eli Manning to carry the offense. I mean, if one were inclined toward pessimism, that is, one could argue that.