Eli Manning engineered Wednesday one of the most seldom-seen sights around the Giants' East Rutherford training camp the past eight years.
He left practice early.
Seems Manning contracted what coach Tom Coughlin called a stomach virus, something the Giants fervently hope will take the form of the 24-hour kind. Regardless of its severity, Manning stuck around for the post-practice meetings.
If his 119-game starting streak - currently the longest run for an active quarterback - bears any indication, there's zero percent chance even the nastiest of bugs will keep him from Sunday's NFC Championship Game appointment with the second-seeded San Francisco 49ers.
At least that's what his teammates thought.
"There's no way," rookie fullback Henry Hynoski said. "I think he'll play no matter what."
Defensive end Dave Tollefson was even more emphatic.
"They've probably got some special virus killer than only Eli Manning can use," Tollefson said. "I'd be sick for two weeks. He'll be good tomorrow."
Guard Chris Snee said he'd "get some soup" to Manning.
"He's just a baby," Snee wise-cracked. "He was in all the meetings and he was out there for the jog-through. Mentally, he's into it."
David Carr took the remainder of the first-team snaps after Manning's abrupt departure.
Other than Manning, the injury situation continued to improve. Rookie linebacker Mark Herzlich, out since November with a sprained ankle, made his first practice appearance and took limited work. The only Giant to sit out the entire practice was Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), who usually rests on Wednesday, anyway.
Even reports of bad weather in San Francisco couldn't dampen the Giants' spirits. The defense looked exceptionally lively during the part of practice in which the media was allowed. And Coughlin indicated that expected rains Thursday through Sunday would not force him to redo his game plan.
"If we have to dunk the ball in a bucket of water a few times, we'll do it," Coughlin said.