Bradshaw, Nicks injured
Their availability is still unknown
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Giants quarterback Eli Manning may be without his two primary weapons this weekend with running back Ahmad Bradshaw and receiver Hakeem Nicks injured and still not practicing.
Bradshaw, the team’s leading rusher, has a cracked bone in his foot that could keep him off the field for Sunday’s game at Gillette Stadium, while Nicks, who leads the squad in catches and receiving yards, has been slowed by a sore hamstring.
Bradshaw, who has had surgery on both feet and ankles during the last two years, has played before with what coach Tom Coughlin called “stress cracks.’’ But if he can’t suit up, the Giants will have lost their top total yardage producer (440 rushing, 210 receiving) and a key pass blocker.
In Bradshaw’s place would be Brandon Jacobs, who was booed by the home fans last week after gaining only 10 yards on four carries, fumbling and dropping a pass after complaining about getting limited playing time.
“He’s been clamoring for a chance,’’ said offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. “The chance is here. This is an opportunity.’’
Jacobs said he was unbothered by catcalls from fans who once hailed him as a workhorse hero of the Super Bowl champions. “That is just playing here in New York,’’ he said yesterday. “That is just the way it is. I play for my teammates and my team. That is it.’’
Nicks, who has 38 catches for 575 yards and three touchdowns, wasn’t sure whether he’d be available for duty.
“You may ask me tomorrow and it may be something different,’’ he said. “I’m hoping to wake up and the pain will be gone. I’m just taking it day to day.’’
If Nicks is a no-go, Manning’s favorite target likely would be Victor Cruz, the second-year undrafted free agent out of UMass who caught seven passes for 99 yards against the Dolphins last Sunday, including the winning 25-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Ins and outs
Other players sitting out again yesterday were center David Baas (knee) and tackle Stacy Andrews (back). Defensive ends Osi Umenyiora (knee/shoulder) and Jason Pierre-Paul (neck), fullback Henry Hynoski (neck), tight end Bear Pascoe (finger), and cornerback Prince Amukamara (foot) had limited participation, while defensive end Justin Tuck (groin), linebacker Michael Boley (knee), and receiver Mario Manningham (illness) participated fully.
John Powers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.