The New York Giants have been hobbled by injuries for most of this season, missing several key starters and contributors for most of their games. In spite of all that, they are 3-2 and a half game behind the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East lead. With a tough NFC battle with the San Francisco 49ers coming this weekend, it appears they could be healthier than they’ve been all season.
It’s hard to determine the impact of the players who will miss the game, but from a numbers standpoint, the Giants could be missing just three players. Those already ruled out for the game are Andre Brown (concussion), Kenny Phillps (knee) and Rocky Bernard (quad).
Losing Phillips and Bernard are killer, especially given the fact the 49ers boast the NFL’s top rushing attack. Bernard was a late signing this off-season but has been playing well. But if the Giants players listed as questionable are able to play, we might be able to get a sense of where this team can be when completely healthy–if that day ever comes.
Hakeem Nicks (knee), Corey Webster (hand) and David Diehl (knee) are all listed as questionable. Of the three, it appears Diehl may be the only one to miss the game, and to be honest that’s a good thing. The offensive line has been blocking much better in his absence.
Nicks is very optimistic about his chances of playing on Sunday, saying “I think I’ve got a pretty good shot.” He practiced today and claims he did what he would on a normal Friday practice. The Giants need all the help they can get against the league’s top scoring defense.
Listed as probable for Sunday’s game are Martellus Bennett (knee), Jayron Hosley (hamstring), Chase Blackburn (hip), Keith Rivers (hamstring), Michael Boley (hip), Ramses Barden (concussion) and Antrel Rolle (knee).
Replacing Phillips in the lineup should be Tyler Sash, though Stevie Brown started in his place last week. Brown has played well at times, but Sash is better in run support. I imagine the two will split time in the secondary. The Giants will also be without Will Hill, who was suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.