Friday, December 2, 2011
Ahmad Bradshaw plans to play
By Matthew Ehalt
Special to ESPNNewYork.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants could receive some reinforcements Sunday against the Packers as running back Ahmad Bradshaw and linebacker Michael Boley both had limited practices Friday and are questionable for Sunday's game.
Receiver Mario Manningham did not practice and is doubtful for the game while linebacker Mark Herzlich and defensive end Osi Umenyiora have both been ruled out.
Asked about Manningham playing Sunday, coach Tom Couglin said: "I have no idea. Not right now."
Bradshaw practiced for the first time in more than a month on Friday due to a foot injury. Coughlin said on Thursday that Bradshaw had to practice in order to play Sunday and Bradshaw finally was able to get on the field Friday. Bradshaw has missed the Giants' last four games, in which the team went 1-3.
"I'm happy to be out there, man. Felt great," Bradshaw said. "I plan to do whatever I've been doing these last weeks that I did play and hopefully I can handle everything."
The running back said a lot of padding is protecting his foot, but he's taken the padding out of the shoe and said that it felt perfect. He believes he's met Coughlin's requirements of practicing and said he is ready to go.
"If I'm out there, you're going to see everything," Bradshaw said. "I'll put it on the field. If I have to break this foot, I will."
Bradshaw's return could possibly reinvigorate a Giants groundattack that has rushed for just 102 yards in the last two games and is ranked last in the league in yards per game. Bradshaw has rushed for 440 yards and five touchdowns while catching 24 passes for 210 yards and one score.
"I think it would be (a big spark to the offense), for sure," Coughlin said.
Boley, who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury, practiced for the second straight day in a limited capacity. After a limited practice Thursday, the linebacker said he was on pace to play Sunday after missing the previous two games. He did not feel sore Friday and said that he went faster during his reps.
"I'm not going to say it's guaranteed, but I was able to get some good work in today," Boley said when asked if he guarantees he will play. "Took a little more reps than I did yesterday. Still taking it one day at a time."
Manningham, who has a swollen knee, did not practice this week and it appears he will miss his second straight game. He attempted to practice Friday by stretching with the team but ended up riding the stationary bike and watching the offense with his helmet off during the portion open to the media.
The receiver said on Thursday about his knee: "It's just some stuff floating around in there."
"It's uncomfortable to run," Manningham said. "I'm not full speed and that's my strength."
Herzlich did not practice all week and is in a walking boot for his injured ankle. The rookie linebacker had started the previous two games against New Orleans and Philadelphia. Fellow rookie Greg Jones will get more snaps with Herzlich out.
Umenyiora (ankle/knee) also did not practice this week and sources have said he will miss at least two weeks. His loss is a big blow to the pass rush, as the Giants have struggled to get to the quarterback recently. Umenyiora has been one of their most pass rushers with seven sacks on the year.
Receiver Hakeem Nicks (ribs/concussion) practiced Friday after missing the previous two days for coming to practice with a headache and is probable for the game.
"I did everything. It was all good. Full go," Nicks said. "Looking forward to the game."
Receiver Victor Cruz (hip), defensive end Justin Tuck (ankle), safety Antrel Rolle (back) and defensive back Derrick Martin (hamstring) are all probable as well.They all practiced fully each of the last two days.
Matthew Ehalt is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.