The Giants just can’t seem to catch a break, as the injury news went from bad to worse following Sunday night’s loss to the Eagles.
It was already known that safety Kenny Phillips (right MCL) was listed as “week-to-week” and that center David Baas suffered a hand injury, but several other players made surprise appearances on yesterday’s injury report.
The names read like an Old English scroll as wideout Ramses Barden (concussion), defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (quadriceps), linebacker Michael Boley (hip) — who was already mending an injured hamstring — and right guard Chris Snee (hip) were all new additions to the Giants’ injury report.
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“I was going to say, if you’re going to want me to go down the roster [of who’s in or out], I’m going to have a little trouble making [it to] practice,” Coughlin joked.
Coughlin noted that Barden’s injury came as a surprise, since the wideout apparently got hurt on the final drive, yet finished the game. According to Coughlin, Barden told the trainers that he was suffering from headaches on Tuesday, so the team decided to begin the concussion protocol.
If neither Barden nor Hakeem Nicks — who didn’t practice again yesterday — can go this week, Victor Cruz may have to do be a one-man band at receiver.
“They’re dropping like flies, man. Every time I look up there’s another one gone, but I guess I have no choice but to get used to it,” Cruz said. “I’m excited about the new challenges [of receiving more attention] and having safeties over the top now, [bracketing] me. … It’s been fun and I’ve still been able to get myself open and make some plays. It’s been exciting — so far.”
Coughlin wasn’t too excited to continue the topic of ailing players, as he grew weary when further pressed about Nicks’s availability.
“I’d like to think about today, if you don’t mind. Last week, although the plan was intact, [Nicks] could not do it. The medical people have that under control, and we all just react according to their beck and call,” said Coughlin. “If he can practice, he’ll practice. Hopefully, we’ll get enough indication, so we can plan for it. … I’m not sure if [Nicks’s knee] is swollen. I think [extra rest] is so as to inhibit him when he walks. He looks pretty good walking.”
Baas can walk, but he just can’t snap or block, which could ultimately be an even bigger loss than Nicks. But the unflappable Eli Manning said he’s confident Baas will be ready for Sunday.
“Guys stepped in today [and] we had a good practice,” said Manning. “We have some guys banged up today [and] hopefully they get back either tomorrow, or later in the week.”
Big Blue notes
»Coughlin was non-committal about Phillips’s replacement in the lineup. Smart money says it’ll be Stevie Brown, who played well in substitution, but Coughlin wouldn’t tip his hand: “We’d like to settle in and make sure that however we decide we’re going to play the game that the individual who hasn’t had that much experience back there does understand how to communicate. And he must know exactly what we want from him in his position and what his responsibilities are. It’s no different.”
»If Brown isn’t tabbed as Phillips’s replacement, another viable option could be Tyler Sash. The second-year player has been a forgotten man after missing the first four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Sash, who returned to practice on Wednesday, said he’s anxiously waiting to take the field in any capacity: “It’s been a month. You try to do stuff to simulate on your own, but it’s nothing like getting in practice and getting actual reps and feeling good about getting to work with the guys again. I’m like a little kid on the playground [because] I get to go out and play again. … Whatever is asked of me, I’m ready to go.”
»The Giants currently have a roster exemption for Sash so he can practice with the team, but they must make a roster move by 4 p.m. Saturday for Sash to be eligible to play against the Browns.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.