The Redskins' most athletic offensive player is clearly slowed by his injuries, but at least Robert Griffin III will be on the field Sunday night. The Giants' most athletic defensive player will not be.
Jason Pierre-Paul, who just two weeks ago was the NFC defensive player of the week despite an ailing right shoulder, will miss Sunday's game with the same injury. It will be the first time in his career that he will sit out a game.
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"He definitely was not himself last week," coach Tom Coughlin said of the loss against the Cowboys. "There's obviously some things to deal with there from the standpoint of the injury. He hasn't been able to practice this week."
Pierre-Paul has struggled this season coming off back surgery. He seemed to be rounding into form against the Raiders on Nov. 10, but he injured his shoulder in that win. The next week, he intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown against the Packers despite the injury.
Coughlin would not say if Pierre-Paul injured his shoulder any further against the Packers, although at one point late in that game, he had to come off the field in the middle of a drive.
"There's an injury and he's dealing with it," Coughlin said. "He certainly was sore after the Packers game and he really had a tough week. It was a tough week for him. He tried, he tried to go. Wasn't able to do the things he wanted to do [against the Cowboys] and that carried over into this week."
The Giants likely will use defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins in their defensive end rotation to take the place of Pierre-Paul. Rookie Damontre Moore has not seen much action this year and could be a part of the replacement rotation.
Meanwhile, a dynamic playmaker who wasn't active for last week's Giants loss to Dallas seemed ready to return to the field. Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks practiced fully Friday and was listed as probable.
Nicks said that he felt well enough to play against the Cowboys, but was told by Coughlin on Sunday morning that he would be inactive. He missed all of last week's practices with an abdominal strain that was tested for a possible sports hernia.
"I always want to play, but I have to respect coach Coughlin, his rules and his wishes," Nicks said. "Obviously, I understood where he was coming from. I didn't show him enough that week in practice."
That hasn't been the case this week. On Friday, Nicks showed no lingering effects of the abdominal injury. He caught fade passes during warm-ups, stretching high for the football in a move that would seem to be impossible (or at least uncomfortable) with any kind of serious strain to the midsection.
Nicks also seemed happy to be on the field. He was spotted delivering leaping karate-style kicks, jumping in the air to click his heels together and performing a rump-shaking touchdown dance.
"I feel real good," he said. "I'll leave it at that. I practiced all week. I think I showed them enough in practice this week. I think I'll be ready to go."
"He looked fine," Coughlin said. "We need him to be full-speed, that's for sure."
Notes & quotes: Besides Pierre-Paul, the Giants ruled out RB Brandon Jacobs (knee), CB Corey Webster (ankle) and CB Trumaine McBride (groin). Second-year player Jayron Hosley will start at cornerback in place of McBride, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said . . . Redskins FB and Amityville product Darrel Young was limited in practice and is listed as questionable.