Eagles quarterback Michael Vick practiced Thursday. For the Giants, meanwhile, Domenik Hixon is out, Mario Manningham probably won’t make it, and Aaron Ross is ticked.
That’s a bad combination as the Giants (1-1) visit Philadelphia (1-1) looking to avenge last year’s 28-point, fourth-quarter meltdown at the Meadowlands.
Here are three questions the Giants will have to address if they expect to get out of rabid Lincoln Financial Field alive on Sunday (1 p.m. on FOX).
Can Eli get untracked?
Tough question. Manningham, one of his two primary receiving targets with Hakeem Nicks, is questionable as doctors continue to evaluate the concussion he received in the final drive of the first half Monday. He didn’t practice Thursday, and may not be there on Friday. Even Tom Coughlin wouldn’t hazard a guess as to his availability. Given that Manning’s interception problems from last year are beginning to crop up again, relying on a bunch of young guys like Victor Cruz and Jerrel Jernigan won’t make throwing to an assuredly double-covered Hakeem Nicks any easier.
Has Aaron Ross’ confidence been shaken?
Ross was pulled in the third quarter against the Rams because he made a mess of coverages. He and Coughlin had a heart-to-heart Wednesday, and Coughlin has assured him he’s still a starting cornerback. But Ross will have to prove himself to return again to Coughlin’s full graces. He can start with a few lengthy punt returns, as he’ll now replace the injured Hixon in that role.
Going back to 2010, the Giants’ defense has now allowed four straight 300-yard passing efforts. And now that Vick is back after shredding last year’s defense with his arm and legs, this battered unit will have to step up considerably compared to the last two games. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin could have monster games against the depleted secondary, and the supposed faking of injuries won’t stop this seasoned group.