Giants Beat Ravens 13-12, But Six Players Injured: The Giants defeated a very good Ravens team 13-12 on the road in Baltimore last night, but the injury bug reared its ugly head once again.
WR Michael Jennings tore his left Achilles’ tendon and will miss the 2007 NFL season. S Will Demps dislocated his right elbow. CB Sam Madison pulled his left hamstring (a right hamstring pull caused him to miss four games in 2006). OC/OG Grey Ruegamer suffered a high right ankle sprain. WR Steve Smith suffered a concussion.
TE Jeremy Shockey also experienced some tightness in his left hamstring and had his leg heavily wrapped.
“I feel bad for Michael,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “He really has improved and was playing well. He had many, many reps this fall because Plaxico (Burress has has not been able to practice). He was improving by leaps and bounds. That’s a big loss. We’ll obviously have to make adjustments and get some people back and that, of course, means that our receivers that aren’t here with us today get back.”
“It’s kind of a shock,” said Jennings . “I was in the best shape of my life. But I guess sometimes in life things happen…Oh, I’ll be back. Look for one-five. One-five will be back.”
Demps dislocated his elbow his rookie season. “I was supposed to be out four to six weeks, but I was back playing with a brace in 2½ weeks,” Demps said. “I feel fine, my spirits are good. I’ve been here before. I’ll miss preseason games, but I’ll definitely be ready for (the regular-season opener against) Dallas.”
Coughlin did not know how serious the hamstring injury suffered by Madison was.
“Just a little minor concussion; I felt a little woozy afterward,” said Smith. “After the play I didn’t remember much. I got to the sideline and guys said I didn’t know what I was talking about.”
As for the game, the Giants’ defense limited the Ravens to only four field goals and 75 net yards rushing and 104 net yards passing. “No matter if it was run or pass, there was a real intensity,” Coughlin said. “I could sense that. The defensive coaches could sense that. There wasn’t anybody that was pleased with last week. We’re a better defensive team and guys wanted to go out and prove it. They were focused.”
While the Giants’ first-team offense only scored one touchdown, the reviews were mostly positive for a unit that was missing key players such as WR Plaxico Burress and WR Sinorice Moss. QB Eli Manning finished the game 10-of-13 for 114 yards and touchdown pass to WR Steve Smith.
“We did a pretty good job on offense,” Manning said. “We put together some decent drives and moved the ball. We were going against a tough defense and we really don’t game plan much in the preseason. They gave us a lot of looks, and the offensive line did a good job of protecting on some blitzes and we were able to get some first downs. We had one scoring drive, which was nice. Overall we did some good things, but this is a process and we still have some things we need to work on.”
The Giants rushed for 182 yards. PK Josh Huston was 2-of-2 on field goal attempts, including a 50-yard effort.
On the negative side, besides the injuries, the Giants were penalized 12 times. The team was also a disappointing 2-of-12 on third down. Giant quarterbacks were sacked five times.
Strahan May Return Soon?: Newsday is reporting that DE Michael Strahan will likely return to the Giants for the 2007 NFL season and could re-join the team on Saturday. The Star-Ledger is reporting that there are strong indications that Strahan will return either late this week or early next week. Since the team breaks training camp at the end of this week, The Bergen Record speculates that Strahan will wait until then to return.
Article on WR Amani Toomer: Toomer Thrives in Right Place at Right Time by Bill Pennington of The New York Times
Notes and Quotes: Not playing last night were WR Plaxico Burress (ankle), WR Sinorice Moss (ankle), WR Marco Thomas (groin), S Michael Stone (hip), LB Gerris Wilkinson (knee), OC Todd Londot (ankle), DE Charrod Taylor (toe), and LS Ryan Kuehl (calf).
QB Jared Lorenzen on QB Eli Manning: “I have always watched him. To a very real extent, he has been a mentor for me and he never knew it. I watched him evolve, ever since high school, and I don’t care what any of the critics say, he is a tough, poised player who will become great…Eli is going to be a great quarterback and I know that for a fact. It is the reality here. I will be a starting quarterback in the NFL but not with the Giants. I expected that. I know I’ll have to change teams to get where I want to be, but this was such a great opportunity, to work with Eli, that I chose the Giants over lots of other teams when I was being offered free agent contracts.”