The New York Giants secret weapon for this weekend and perhaps the hottest player on their roster heading into the upcoming Wild Card game at the Green Bay Packers has apparently never played football in cold weather.
Rookie running back Paul Perkins, the Giants fourth round pick who has come on strong over the final month of the season, is certainly ready for the playoffs if the last few weeks are any indication. He just isn’t sure he is ready for the cold weather, something that wasn’t exactly terribly common for a player whose college career was spent in sunny California at UCLA. That he was born and raised in Arizona doesn’t help with any preparation for cold weather.
Temperatures on Sunday at Lambeau Field come kickoff should be around 25 degrees. Not quite balmy southern California or sizzling Mesa.
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“This is probably the coldest I’ve played in,” Perkins said. “I’m not accustomed to too cold of weather, but it’s not going to be a big deal.”
In an effort to get acclimated to the cold, Perkins went to practice on Thursday in short sleeves and shorts. It is all part of what the rookie called part of getting “used to being uncomfortable.” Temperatures in north Jersey at practice hovered below freezing with strong wind gusts.
After a quiet start to the year, Perkins has come on strong as of late for the Giants with 271 rushing yards over the last four games, 102 yards of which came this past Sunday in a win at the Washington Redskins. That game was the first time all season that a Giants running back topped 100 rushing yards in a game.
“I think there’s a carryover and some momentum, but it doesn’t really mean anything if we don’t keep going through the process,” Perkins said. “Momentum only lasts for so long, so we have to keep staying driven and keep pushing.”