Saturday, November 5, 2011
Giants: Baas, Bradshaw, Nicks will not play
By Dan Graziano
New York Giants center David Baas, running back Ahmad Bradshaw and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks all stayed behind in New Jersey on Saturday as the team traveled north in advance of Sunday's game against the Patriots in New England, the team announced. That means the Giants will play Sunday without their starting center and their team leaders in rushing yardage and receiving yardage.
The team also announced that wide receiver Ramses Barden, who's been out since breaking his ankle last November, has been activated from the PUP list. He's likely to be the third receiver behind Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham in Foxborough while Nicks sits out to recover from his hamstring injury. Brandon Jacobs is expected to be the starting running back while Bradshaw misses his first game of the season with a foot injury. And Kevin Boothe is likely to start at center in place of Baas, who's out with a knee injury.
The fresh run of injuries has come at a bad time for the Giants, who begin the much-publicized tough part of their schedule with the road game against the Patriots. While Cruz and Manningham have shown flashes of excellence over the past couple of years with Eli Manning throwing them the ball, each has likely benefited from the presence of Nicks, who draws the most coverage because he's the team's most dangerous receiver. As for the run game, plugging in former starter Jacobs for Bradshaw isn't the no-dropoff situation it may have been in the past. Bradshaw is the better pass blocker and pass catcher by far and Jacobs hasn't shown much this year in his limited action. Additionally, the offensive line has been terrible in the run game all season, and losing Baas isn't likely to help with that.
Working in the Giants' favor is the fact the Patriots rank dead last in the NFL in total defense, allowing 424.1 yards per game so far this year including 323.1 in the passing game.
Also, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who missed practice Friday while being tested for a concussion, did make the trip to New England, which indicates he should be ready to play.