Sunday, December 29, 2013
Halftime thoughts: Eli Manning injured
By Dan Graziano
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning might have thrown his final pass of the 2013 season. Fittingly, it was intercepted.
Manning took a big hit from Redskins defensive lineman Chris Baker late in the first half of the game and was limping badly when he was helped to his feet by an official. He stayed in the game, but two plays later a tipped pass was intercepted. Manning took a long time to walk off the field, and limped directly to the locker room with the help of a member of the training staff. The team announced he was being treated for an ankle injury.
No official word yet, but it seems unlikely he'd play in the second half of this meaningless Week 17 game.
Also injured earlier in the game were guard James Brewer and wide receivers Rueben Randle and Hakeem Nicks. Randle has been ruled out for the game with a knee injury, and Nicks is being called "questionable" to return with an ankle injury. If Nicks can't return, the Giants could be playing the final half of their season without any of their top three wide receivers -- Randle, Nicks and Victor Cruz, who has missed the final two games following knee surgery. They also could be without Manning to throw to anyone.
Fortunately for them, wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan looks great. He has caught all six of the passes thrown his way for 90 yards and a touchdown. Jernigan has been a revelation since Cruz's Week 15 injury as the slot receiver, and is likely improving his chances of playing more next season, whether it's for the Giants or for someone else.
Also having a big game is defensive end Justin Tuck, who is playing with energy against the run as he has all season, and has collected his 10th sack of the season. It's Tuck's fourth career double-digit-sack season, and his first since 2010. He has drastically improved his chances of returning to the Giants in 2014.
Running back Andre Brown hasn't returned to the game since his second-quarter fumble led to the first three points of the game for the Redskins. That fumble and Manning's interception have raised the Giants' league-leading turnover total to 43.