Several Giants players came up to Devon Kennard during practice Wednesday and congratulated him. Kennard said he didn't know why, so he just said: "Thanks."
Later he learned that he had been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week, the first Giants rookie to accomplish the feat. Kennard had six tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in the Giants' win over the Titans on Sunday.
"There have been some incredible linebackers to play for this organization so something like that, it was definitely special,'' Kennard said. "But I know that I have a long ways to go and a lot of things that I want to improve and continue to develop in my game.''
He wouldn't even go so far as to say that his performance was great.
"I think I played a good game,'' he said, "but there are always things.''
The Giants have been using Kennard more in blitz packages in recent weeks, which has led to him being the first Giants linebacker with two or more sacks in back-to-back games since Jessie Armstead in 1999. His hit on Zach Mettenberger on Sunday knocked the quarterback out of the game and ended his season.
"I didn't intend on doing that,'' he said. "I feel sorry for him.''
Although Odell Beckham Jr. has been the flashiest rookie for the Giants this season, Kennard has been one of the most consistent contributors in the draft class. More recently, his impact has been more noticeable.
"He's been a really outstanding player for us in the last few weeks,'' Tom Coughlin said. "He loves to play. He is physical and he is one of those guys by just looking in his eyes you know that he wants to be on the field.''
Coach Jay Gruden called Washington's quarterback situation "quite the merry-go-round'' on a conference call as he worked through deciding who would start against the Giants Sunday. Colt McCoy was limited in practice with a neck injury. Robert Griffin III would seem to be the next choice if McCoy is unable to play, but Gruden noted that Kirk Cousins could also get the nod.
Perhaps a bigger decision than who starts this game is who will stick around to lead the team in the future.
"You want to have stability at the position, you really do,'' Gruden said, "but you also want one of the quarterbacks to step in and when it is their turn, to take control."
"Unfortunately, as an offensive group, we haven't had that opportunity for a quarterback to really take that over. We've still got three weeks to figure that out.''
RB Rashad Jennings was not on the injury report but suggested that his sprained ankle is not entirely healed . . . LB Jameel McClain (knee), T James Brewer (concussion) and LB Jacquian Williams (concussion) did not practice. Coughlin said McClain is expected back Thursday . . . LB Mark Herzlich (concussion) returned to practice after missing Sunday's game.