Giants Notebook: Offensive stars out, Barden in
The bye week suddenly seems very long ago.
The Giants relished their bye, now two weeks ago, as a chance to get star players such as Justin Tuck, Chris Snee and Brandon Jacobs healthy. But for a team that couldn’t catch a break before the time off, nothing has changed after the bye.
The Giants have officially ruled out receiver Hakeem Nicks (hamstring), running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) and center David Baas (knee) for Sunday’s game in New England. None of the three traveled with the team.
All three were listed as doubtful after Friday’s final practice, but there was some thought bradshaw might play despite the diagnosis of a broken foot earlier this week. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the injury would not require surgery and a source said that he “should play Sunday.” Head coach Tom Coughlin, however, said no decision had been made as late as Friday afternoon. He said it was “possible” that he would play.
Ramses has returned
One bit of good news is that wide receiver Ramses Barden has been activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and will play against the Patriots.
Victor Cruz will likely take the spot of Nicks in the starting lineup, but the 6-foot-6 Barden is an intriguing target in the red zone. And while the receivers seem to be in a constant state of flux, Coughlin isn’t worried about his veteran quarterback adapting to the changing corps.
“He works very well [with different combinations of receivers], because he takes the time literally from day one to make sure everybody is on the same page,” Coughlin said. “He is out there communicating and adjusting, telling people what he sees and what he expects. He is making corrections and doing it on-the-fly literally play-by-play. That is why there is good communication.”
Barden hasn’t played since Nov. 14, 2010 when he broke his ankle against the Cowboys. He has just five catches in his first two seasons.
You down with JPP?
Adding to the injury absurdity, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul suffered a concussion in practice Friday and is questionable for Sunday. He did travel with the team, but will be a gametime decision.
“He got hit in the head when he was making a play,” Coughlin said after Friday’s final practice. “The two helmets hit together and I didn’t think much of it and then all of a sudden he was off to the side. He didn’t feel good and they shut him right down.”
As the NFL gets increasingly concerned about concussions, Pierre-Paul will not be allowed to play unless post-concussion symptoms stop and he passes every test.
“Jason is doing all the protocols,” Coughlin said. “He had a headache so we put him through all the tests for a possible concussion. … That is where he is and that is what he is doing.”
It seems unlikely that he would play so soon after sustaining the injury. If he is out, the Giants lose a tremendous pass rusher and key to their plan to put pressure on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Pierre-Paul is tied for third in the NFL with nine sacks this season.
Starting linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka would likely be counted on to put more pressure on Brady as well as reserve defensive end Joe Tollefson.
Follow Metro New York sports editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.