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Cullen Jenkins hopes to play for Giants on Sunday

Cullen Jenkins looks on during the second

Cullen Jenkins looks on during the second quarter of a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Aug. 10, 2013) Credit: AP

Cullen Jenkins wants to play on Sunday. Not just because his calf is better, but because his team isn't.

The defensive tackle told Newsday that he is pushing to be on the field for Sunday's game against the Cowboys because it would be difficult to be sidelined with the Giants facing possible elimination from the playoffs.

"That would be tough," he said. "That definitely is on my mind, which is one of the reasons why I tried to rush back for Seattle [two weeks ago] when I probably shouldn't have. But you see the team, you see the team fighting. You know there's a big sense of urgency in what we're trying to do and it's hard to sit on the side and just watch. If there's something that you can do in any way you want to try to do it."

Jenkins did say his calf strain feels better than it has since the injury first occurred against the Cowboys on Oct. 19. He missed one game, came back and played against the Seahawks on Nov. 9, then missed last week's game against the 49ers. He said he reinjured the calf on a goal-line play in which Marshawn Lynch scored from the 1.

Jenkins said he doesn't regret playing in that game, but wishes he had been more "cautious."

"I was able to make it through certain plays and I should have just stuck to the plays that I was sure that I could have made instead of trying to do too much," he said. "The play that messed it up was when we were down there on the goal line. I'm down there in my stance and trying to fire out with everything I've got, lunging, and I was on that leg and that's how it gave out. I should have just subbed and let one of the other d-tackles come in and been a little smarter."

He did not practice on Wednesday, but got a good workout while the team was on the field. The Giants can definitely use Jenkins against the Cowboys' running attack. Led by DeMarco Murray, they are the second-most prolific running team in the NFL.

"It's definitely getting better," he said. "It feels better right now than it's felt since I injured it, even better than the Seattle week. It's just a question now of how much do you push it. Is it ready to handle a full load? It's a tough line we're at right now."

A line that is intersected by the tough spot the Giants are in as a team.

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