Amukamara and Kiwanuka Injured in Preseason Defeat to Bears: The Chicago Bears beat the New York Giants 20-17 on Friday night in the third game of the preseason. But the big story of the game was the potentially serious injury to CB Prince Amukamara. Amukamara was carted off of the field with a high ankle sprain in the first quarter of the contest. His status for the early part of the regular season is unknown. With Terrell Thomas still out indefinitely with his ACL injury and Jayron Hosley still ailing from a toe injury, the Giants have issues at the right cornerback position.
High ankle is the worst type of ankle sprain for an athlete. “I’m going to have to get more information,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin after the game. “It’s not fractured. They were saying high ankle. Dr. Warren thought it was mild so that’s what was told to me. That term, high ankle, if it’s a mild sprain, perhaps it’s not going to take as much time to get back.”
“You talk to the doctors and they say (Amukamara is) gonna be fine, it wasn’t anything serious,” DE Justin Tuck said. “You see him get carted off and your heart drops for the guy because he’s finally getting his shot to be a big-time player for us. Hopefully it’s nothing that lingers, it’s something he can overcome real quickly.’
Also injured in the game was LB Mathias Kiwanuka, who suffered groin pull at the end of the first half. Kiwanuka said he might miss the next week and a half, but feels he will be ready for the season opener against the Cowboys.
LB Mark Herzlich also left the game after jamming his shoulder. He did not think he would miss any time.
As for the game, the Giants’ first team out-played the Bears’ starters 17-7 in the first half. The Giants’ defense only allowed 19 yards on the Bears’ first two offensive possessions. After a three-and-out of their own, the Giants’ offense drove 72 yards in eight plays to set up a 32-yard field goal by PK Lawerence Tynes. Rookie HB David Wilson starred on this drive with runs of 20 and 15 yards and a catch-and-run of 29 yards. Wilson impressively displayed speed, balance, and tackle-breaking ability.
The Bears responded with a 7-play, 59-yard touchdown drive. It was on this drive that Amukamara was hurt when tackling WR Devin Hester on an end around. On the next snap, Amukamara left the game after tackling WR Brandon Marshall. The Bears immediately began targeting Amukamara’s replacement, CB Bruce Johnson, throwing three times in his direction on the next four plays with the result being 21-yard touchdown pass on 3rd-and-8. After the game, Johnson said the touchdown was due to “bad technique” on his part.
As for Amukamara, Coughlin said, “I’ve got to give him credit. Even when he was injured, he made that tackle on the sidelines (on the Devin Hester end around). I don’t think anybody knew what the injury was and we couldn’t get him off the field fast enough and he didn’t go down. He played one more play. They went right at him and he made the play. So yeah, he’s had some injuries but he is a tough kid and I think he’ll come back from this as fast as possible. How fast that is, I’m not sure.”
The Giants crossed midfield on their next possession but were forced to punt. Then the Giants’ defense forced another three-and-out. The Giants then drove 58 yards in 10 plays to regain the lead, 10-7. The drive culminated with an 11-yard touchdown pass from QB Eli Manning to WR Ramses Barden.
The Bears only gained one more first down and 19 yards on their final four possessions of the first half. Worse for Chicago, HB Da’Rel Scott blocked a Bears’ punt that was recovered at the Chicago 10-yard line. Two plays later, HB Andre Brown scored from one yard out and the Giants led 17-7 at the half.
The Bears’ reserves dramatically out-played the Giants’ back-ups in the second half as Chicago out-scored New York 13-0 in the third and fourth quarters. In six of New York’s seven second-half possessions, the Giants only gained 39 yards and three first downs. On the Giants’ last drive, trailing 20-17, the Giants did move the ball 65 yards (aided by a penalty), but their last desperate gasp ended with an interception by QB David Carr on a 1st-and-10 pass from the Chicago 13-yard line with just over a minute to play. Carr had been saved two plays later when a roughing-the-passer penalty also wiped out a bad interception. Carr had a terrible night, finishing 7-of-16 for 76 yards. His pass protection by the second-team unit was equally bad.
On the other side of the ball, the Bears’ offensive back-ups scored on three of their first four possessions of the second half with two field goal drives and a touchdown drive.
Manning had a strong night, finishing 17-of-21 for 148 yards and a touchdown. Wilson rushed for 49 yards on five carries and caught two passes for 26 yards. Barden caught three passes for 46 yards and a touchdown. LB Keith Rivers flashed with five tackles.
Highlights/lowlights of the game are available at NFL.com.
Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Post-Game Press Conference: The video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference is available at Giants.com.
Post-Game Player Media Q&As: Video clips of post-game media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:
Post-Game Notes: Fourteen players did not play against the Bears on Friday night: HB Ahmad Bradshaw (hand), WR Hakeem Nicks, TE Travis Beckum (knee – PUP), OT Will Beatty (back), OT Brandon Mosley (ankle), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (back), DE Adrian Tracy (hamstring), DT Chris Canty (knee – PUP), DT Shaun Rogers (blood clot), DT Marvin Austin (back), LB Michael Boley (hamstring), CB Terrell Thomas (knee), CB Jayron Hosley (toe), and CB Brandon Bing (hamstring).
Giants.com Player Interviews: Video clips of interviews with the following players are available at Giants.com: