Two days after the Bucs' controversial decision to fire out at Eli Manning in an attempt to force a fumble despite an obvious kneel-down situation, the Giants still were steamed about the play. Even though the move that was ordered by Bucs rookie coach Greg Schiano, the former Rutgers coach, was not against the rules, some Giants players continued to take issue with it.

"I thought it was a classless play," defensive end Justin Tuck said. "It has no place in the NFL. That's how you get guys hurt. I've been in this league for eight years, and that's the first time I've ever seen that. There's guys who have been here a lot longer than I have and that's the first time they've ever seen it. If that's how they want to play it, then we'll just do that to them and do that to everybody else. It's not going to be an issue until somebody blows their knee out or get some prime guy hurt on national TV."

Tuck said he never has been instructed to go after an opponent in a kneel-down situation. And even if asked, he said he'd refuse.

"If Perry Fewell told me to dive at a guy's knees when we were losing, I would say no," Tuck said. "That's just a man on man talking."

When asked Tuesday about the kneel-down, Fewell said he supported what coach Tom Coughlin said regarding the play. Coughlin criticized Schiano after the game for going after Manning, who was knocked over during the post-snap scrum.

Giants guard Chris Snee, who was in the middle of the melee, said he, too, was annoyed.

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"There's a first for everything, and that was a first," he said. "We'll just tighten up and be ready for [the opponent] to fire off. And I wouldn't change my reaction in any way. If a guy dives at my knees, my knee is going into the back of his head. That's what happened in the game, and that's what will happen going forward."

Giant steps

Coughlin was vague, even by his standards, when it came to information on the injuries to David Diehl (knee), Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) and Domenik Hixon (concussion). None of them practiced, but Coughlin said he was holding out hope that they might play on Thursday at Carolina. He was reserved about the chances of CB Prince Amukamara (ankle) playing as well. But WR Hakeem Nicks (foot), who did not practice, elicited a far more positive response. "I expect [him to play], yes," Coughlin said. Nicks said he'll be good to go, too, especially because the game is being played in his hometown. "Last time I played there was the preseason game last year, so it really wasn't a lot of playing time," Nicks said. "This year is a full game. I'm definitely looking forward to it."