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Fate reroutes Robbie Gould from Wrigley to Twickenham

Robbie Gould of the New York Giants reacts

Robbie Gould of the New York Giants reacts during a game against the Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham Stadium on Oct. 23, 2016, in London. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Dan Istitene

Did Robbie Gould have to cancel any plans to join the Giants on short notice?

In fact, he did. The 34-year-old kicker, who was called by the team Thursday night and was asked to fly to London to replace Josh Brown, said he probably would have been at Wrigley Field on Saturday night to watch the Cubs clinch their first pennant since 1945. Gould, who played 11 years with the Bears and lives in Chicago, did not have tickets in hand but said he attended NLCS Game 2 there and likely was going to see Game 6, too.

“I’m gonna stay away,” he said of seeing the Cubs lose in Game 2, “and help end the little curse they have going on.”

Sounds like an exciting few days for Gould?

He said he woke up at about 3 a.m. Sunday, still jet-lagged from his flight to London, checked his phone and saw that the Cubs had won. Then, out of curiosity, he checked on his alma mater’s football score. “I had to double-take,” he said of Penn State’s upset of No. 2 Ohio State. Then Gould kicked a field goal and two extra points for the Giants. “It’s been a good weekend,” he said.

Did the Giants get political with their audibles?

Television microphones picked up Eli Manning making changes at the line of scrimmage, and he seemed to be using the word “Trump” as some kind of key. He denied it.

“No ‘Trump’ call,” he said. “We had something very similar, but no. It was not ‘Trump.’ Not an audible this week.”

How close was Odell Beckham Jr. to missing this game because of his hip injury?

Closer than he let on, apparently. “It took a lot to get ready for this game,” he said. “Even going through warmups, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I got out there and it was pretty painful.”

He played despite what he called that “seed of doubt” and caught five passes for 49 yards, but it was clear the Giants were not going to lean heavily on him with their game plan.

“We kind of just came up with a plan,” he said. “They kind of said: ‘Get in where you fit in. Wherever you can get in, if you need to come out, let us know.’ But they did give me the opportunity to play, which I’m thankful for.”

The Rams’ ferocious defensive line must have dominated the Giants’ offensive line, right?

Neither Aaron Donald nor Robert Quinn made much of an impact. Donald had three tackles and Quinn had one hit on Manning but no tackles. It was the second straight game in which the Giants did not allow a sack. They still are struggling to open running holes (only 34 yards on 18 carries), but they passed a huge test.

How did it go for Janoris Jenkins against his former team?

He was beaten once early on a double move in which he seemed to guess and wound up committing a holding penalty as well. Other than that, though, he was active and effective.

“It was exciting,” said the cornerback, who signed with the Giants from the Rams during the offseason. “They were talking trash, I was talking trash. But it’s all love at the same time. It just felt good out there.”

How many times has Dwayne Harris been carted off the field and returned to the same game?

“I can’t even count,” he said after doing the Lazarus act for at least the third time as a Giant. Last year he was carted off twice in the same game and came back to score two touchdowns. This time he took a hit to the back at the end of the half, went to the locker room and returned in the fourth quarter.

“I’m still sore and it’s hard to breathe,” Harris said after the game. “It was a straight helmet to the back.”

What would it take for Harris not to return from an injury?

“My legs would definitely have to not be working,” he said. “That’s the only way I’m not going to come back. That’s about it. If my legs aren’t working, I can’t really play.”

What’s up with Larry Donnell?

The fumble-prone tight end coughed up the ball on the second snap of the game, setting up the Rams’ only touchdown. Still, Ben McAdoo said he’s at least improving his technique.

“Last week he hurdled a guy and hung the ball out there, and we told him we didn’t like that,” McAdoo said. “He caught the ball [Sunday]. He got north and south. He ran with it the way we want him to run with it. He just has to protect it better.”


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