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Friday, November 18, 2011
Justin Tuck expects to play Sunday

By Ian Begley
Special to ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants will not have Ahmad Bradshaw for Sunday night's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. They most likely will be without middle linebacker Michael Boley as well.

But Tom Coughlin's crew should have defensive end Justin Tuck on the field.

Tuck suffered an ankle injury Thursday when a teammate stepped on his foot in practice. He is listed as questionable, though he said Friday that the injury is not significant.

"Hopefully, it's not going to be any big deal. There is soreness but there doesn't seem to be a lot of swelling, so I think he'll be fine," Coughlin said of Tuck, who sat out of practice Friday.

Tuck missed four games due to lingering neck and groin injuries, but he said his ankle is "fine."

"No swelling, no nothing," he added.

Boley is listed as doubtful due to a hamstring injury he suffered last week against the San Francisco 49ers.

He is still "holding out hope" that he can play Sunday night. But the veteran admitted that his hamstring will need to show significant improvement before he returns to the field.

If Boley is unavailable, it is unclear who will start in his place.

Rookie Mark Herzlich is a strong candidate. Herzlich, who overcame a rare form of bone cancer in his left leg while in college, would be making his first NFL start at linebacker if he gets the nod.

"I feel prepared, I feel ready," he said. "That's what I've been waiting my whole life for, a chance."

Said Couglin: "He communicates well, he seems to know the defense. He can get us lined up and he's a big strong kid in there."

Brandon Jacobs is expected to start in place of Bradshaw, who was ruled out Friday and will miss his third straight week due to a fractured bone in his foot.

Bradshaw said on Thursday that he hopes to play next Monday night against New Orleans, but Coughlin cautioned that the running back has several hurdles to clear on the practice field before getting to that point.

He also said that Bradshaw will likely be limited in practice once he returns.

Bradshaw has rushed for 440 yards and five touchdowns on 111 carries. He also has 24 catches for 210 yards and a TD. In addition to Jacobs trying to fill the void, D.J. Ware and rookie Da'Rell Scott could also see carries against the Eagles.

In other injury news, left tackle Will Beatty missed practice on Thursday due to a back issue and is listed as probable. Coughlin expects him to play.

The coach was less clear on Prince Amukamara's status for Sunday. The rookie corner has been practicing with the team for the past three weeks but has yet to make his NFL debut after suffering a broken foot in August.

"I think it's a lot better than last week," Amukamara said when asked about the odds of making his debut against Philadelphia. "It's pretty promising this week."

"He seems to have run around better this week than other weeks, so we'll have to see," Coughlin said.

Amukamara officially is listed as questionable.

Wide receivers Jerrel Jernigan (hip) and Mario Manningham (knee) are probable. Cornerback Aaron Ross (knee) is also probable, as is defensive end Osi Umenyiora (knee).

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.