EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Missing practice nine days before the Super Bowl isn't the biggest or most alarming deal in the world, but it's still better to be healthy enough to practice than to not be. To that end, we offer you an update on who's on the field and who isn't, both here and up in Foxborough.
For the Giants, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, cornerbacks Corey Webster and Will Blackmon and linebacker Jacquian Williams all missed practice for the second straight day. Nicks injured his shoulder Sunday in the NFC Championship Game, but he returned to the game and said Thursday that he wasn't worried about missing the Super Bowl. Webster has been dealing with a hamstring problem for a while now, but he played Sunday and should be good to go. Blackmon has a knee injury. Williams, who forced the fumble that set up the Giants' overtime game-winning field goal Sunday in San Francisco, has a foot injury, and there has been no update on his status. If it's serious enough to keep him out of the Super Bowl, that would hurt the Giants on special teams and in coverage against the Patriots' tight ends.
Speaking of which...
Up in Foxborough, the folks at ESPNBoston.com report, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was absent for the start of practice. Gronkowski injured his ankle Sunday in the AFC Championship Game, and the Patriots have been typically tight-lipped about his status. But Gronkowski's father told a Buffalo TV station that the injury is a high ankle sprain, and if that's the case his status for the Feb. 5 game is in doubt.
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey missed last year's Super Bowl after suffering a high ankle sprain in the AFC Championship Game. Two years ago, Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney had an ankle injury and started the Super Bowl but was unable to maintain his effectiveness in the second half. The odds are good that Gronkowski will find a way to suit up and play in the game, but the question is how much the ankle will limit him. This is likely to be the dominant daily storyline next week in Indianapolis.