- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said Bradshaw did not have a setback.
"He worked yesterday; he was a little sore today," Coughlin said. "We're trying to get him to a point game day where he's healthy."
Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (foot/knee), meanwhile, practiced all week and is probable for Sunday's game. Nicks played in his first game in four weeks last week against San Francisco.
"It's feeling better," Nicks said. "I feel like starting to practice is a way to break it back in and get it better, so I took that approach this week and got the green light to do it. It's definitely getting better."
Bradshaw is coming off a pair of great games in which he rushed a combined 57 times for 316 yards (5.54 yards per carry) and two touchdowns against the Browns and the 49ers. He surprisingly did not practice Wednesday as his foot issues flared up again. He said Thursday he believed he had his foot stepped on Sunday, but he said this new pain isn't related to the stress fracture he battled last season, one that sidelined him for some games. Bradshaw has battled foot injuries throughout his career.
Coughlin said Thursday he expects Bradshaw to carry a full load Sunday. Running back Andre Brown is probable for the game after missing Sunday's contest with a concussion, and rookie David Wilson, who has been earning more carries as he's excelled at kickoffs, could steal some carries. The team's fourth running back, Da'Rel Scott, will miss the game with a knee injury.
"I feel good," Bradshaw said Thursday. "There's no setback and I'm ready to go."
Nicks practiced all week after making his return against the 49ers last Sunday. The receiver had a monster game against the Buccaneers on Sept. 16, catching 10 passes for 199 yards and one touchdown, but missed the following three games as he battled a swollen knee and pain in his right foot which he had surgery on. Nicks caught three balls for 44 yards in the Giants' 26-3 win over the 49ers.
The receiver had just one practice before returning against San Francisco but said it was important for him to get back for that game. He said he feels "a lot better" this week than he did during the game, as he was a little cautious on the field. He did his normal reps during practice this week. He said practicing all week helps him to get ready physically, as well as getting him on the same page with quarterback Eli Manning.
"I really wasn't expecting too much out of that game," Nicks said. "Just wanted to go out there and get back in the groove of things this week. Had a full week of practice so I expect it to be better, and next week will be better and keep getting better."
The Giants will be without the services of safety Kenny Phillips (knee), defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (quad) and linebacker Jacquian Williams (knee). Phillips will miss his third straight game with a sprained MCL that has him week-to-week, but reserve Stevie Brown has played well in his place. Bernard will be out for the third straight week with his quadriceps, testing the team's depth once against at defensive tackle.
Williams' absence could hurt the Giants as they try to contain Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III. The Giants like to use Williams' speed to help contain rushing quarterbacks, such as fellow NFC East signal-caller Michael Vick.
"It's a blow to our defense not to have him because we like his speed, we like his aggressiveness and I thought he performed well for us last week also," Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said Thursday. "So we felt like the more he's starting to come, there are things that we see of the old Jacquian Williams that played for us last year that we can carry on from week to week. So now he's out and it sets you back just a little bit."
The Giants have also not made a decision on whether to activate defensive tackle Chris Canty from the physically unable to perform list. The Giants have a three-week window that started this week to activate Canty, who practiced this week, and Coughlin said "we'll see" about Canty being activated. The team would have to make another move to clear a roster spot for Canty, who had knee surgery in the offseason.
"He's in outstanding shape condition-wise," Coughlin said. "He hasn't been hit, obviously. We'll come up with the right formula."
Matt Ehalt is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.
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