When the New York Giants take on the Baltimore Ravens in one of the most important games of the season, they could be without a long list of their most important players. The only problem is we may not know about them until game-time.
Prince Amukamara, who missed the latter part of the New Orleans Saints game and the Atlanta Falcons game with a bum hamstring, practiced this week and is listed as probable. His return will be a big boost to the defense; rookie corner Jayron Hosley has talent but was burned a couple of times against the Falcons. Amukamara has emerged as the Giants’ best corner this season.
Also listed as probable are wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Reuben Randle. This is an upgrade from Nicks over his recent listings, which were all questionable (when he played). If he’s healthy, the Giants are a different offense and should be able to exploit a banged up Ravens secondary.
The troubling news is in all the players listed as questionable. Those include David Baas, Chris Snee, Ahmad Bradshaw, Justin Tuck, Kenny Phillips, Travis Beckum and Tyler Sash.
While everyone on this list except Tuck practiced on Friday, their status still remains in question. The Giants clearly missed Amukamara and Phillips against the Falcons. They were beaten on several deep balls and played atrocious defensively for most of the game.
Tuck has been a shell of himself this season and it could be because he’s played most of the season with nagging injuries. That said, I can’t continue to make excuses for him and I’m not really sure how much the Giants will miss him if he doesn’t play. He’s certainly an important part of the defense and its captain, but from a production stand point his presence has not been felt.
Though I’m not taking the offense off the hook, who were shut out for the first time in the Tom Coughlin era last week. Nicks has not been himself lately, which has allowed teams to key in on Victor Cruz and take away the Giants’ best option. When the Giants are one-dimensional it typically spells disaster.
This weekend is about as must-win of a game as it gets. Whoever can play Sunday should, and I expect that to be the mindset going in.