Tom Coughlin gave the most optimistic three words yet on the status of Victor Cruz and Jason Pierre-Paul on Wednesday: “Full speed ahead.”
And yes, the two of them were practicing with the Giants on Wednesday in the first gameplan-specific workout of the season. Coughlin admitted that they might wind up being limited on the official injury report that comes out later, but he seemed convinced that both are on track to play Sunday against the Cowboys.
How much? Well, in Cruz’s case, probably quite a bit. In JPP’s case, the Giants may have added some insurance in case he and/or Damontre Moore are unable to play or are on seriously limited snap counts. That insurance came in the way of Adewale Ojomo, the preseason superstar who was cut on Saturday, brought back on the practice squad, and today elevated to full-fledged member of the 53-man roster. He replaces Andre Brown, who was officially placed on injured reserve with a designation to return. Brown is eligible to play in Week 10 against the Raiders.
As for the other injured players, Moore was practicing after missing the bulk of the preseason with a shoulder contusion. Coughlin expressed concern about his missing so much time on the field. David Diehl was on the field stretching with the team and wearing a small brace on his right thumb, but he was not in pads. Adrien Robinson was on the side rehabbing his foot. He seemed to be walking ok, but is probably still a ways off. And Henry Hynoski was practicing. The only player on the pre-practice injury report that wasn’t spotted on the field during the suddenly abbreviated media portion of practice was David Baas. Coughlin said he keeps making progress, but it seems unlikely he’ll be ready for Sunday (it always did seem unlikely) and the Giants will probably go with Kevin Boothe at center and James Brewer at left guard.
The Giants have two positions that are glaringly thin at the moment – running back and safety – and Tom Coughlin made it seem as if the team will go into Dallas with the roster set at those spots. That means Da’rel Scott is the No. 2 running back behind David Wilson and rookie Cooper Taylor is the only true safety behind starters Antrel Rolle and Ryan Mundy. Coughlin did say that there are others who could jump in and play safety in a pinch – Terrell Thomas and Aaron Ross come immediately to mind – and he mentioned that the team likes rookie Jawanza Starling out of USC who was signed to the practice squad earlier this week. Coughlin said that while Thomas and Ross and maybe some others won’t take reps at safety, they’ll be brought up to speed on the position in meetings just in case.