Manning taking a wait-and-see approach with heel
October, 7, 2009
By Matt Mosley | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Giants quarterback Eli Manning told reporters Wednesday that he needed to see how his injured heel responded before making any promises about whether or not he was going to play. Manning is dealing with a painful condition known as plantar fasciitis and it eventually knocked him out of Sunday's 27-16 win over the Chiefs.
"If I feel like I can go out and play at a high level and help the team and do everything I can do, and they don't have to limit the game plan or say you can't do this or that, I'll go out there and play," Manning said. "I'm not going to do anything that will put myself in harm for making this worse down the road."
And that's the main question here: Could playing Sunday cause further damage to Manning's heel? I don't know the answer to that, but I do have a call into a local podiatrist. I've seen players struggle with similar injuries. Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman had plantar fasciitis and it's something that hampered him throughout the season. I think this is something that Manning will have fight through the entire season.
The good news for the Giants is that Manning's played through pain before. He suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder against the Cowboys in 2007 and doctors informed him he could be out for a month. Manning missed two practices and then played against the Packers the following week. But I don't think he's willing to play if he thinks it will compromise his team's performance or his ability to play well down the stretch.
"I feel like I have been practicing well and playing good football and been in a rhythm the last couple of weeks," Manning said. "You don't want to go out there when you are injured and you can't do everything you want to do and move the way you want, and all the sudden you get bad habits and bad mechanics and you're throwing the ball differently."
If Manning's not able to take at least a few snaps by Friday, my gut tells me he probably won't play. Tom Coughlin and his mentor Bill Parcells rarely allowed players to be on the field Sunday if they missed every practice. The Giants used to make some allowances for Plaxico Burress and Parcells used to make an exception for Mark Bavaro.
Manning's certainly capable of playing well after missing a full week of practices, but I'm sure Coughlin would like to see him move around a little bit before starting him against the Raiders.