It was the play Giants fans have been waiting two years to see. It turned into a nightmarish scene of gore and blood.
Early in the second quarter with the ball on the 5, the Giants were lined up for a running play needing only 1 yard for a first down. But Eli Manning sensed that it was time to try a fade to 6-6 receiver Ramses Barden set out wide to the right and he signaled that to the second-year player. Only problem was that he didn’t tell anyone else. So when Brandon Jacobs came barreling past Manning expecting to get the handoff, he clipped the quarterback under the chin. That disrupted the timing of the pass and Calvin Pace, who normally would have been left alone on the backside of a run up the middle, was left alone on a quarterback dropback and clobbered Manning from behind.
The helmet came off. The blood spilled. You’ve no doubt seen it in all its ghastly glory. We knew Manning came from blue blood, but this was a little too much blood for Big Blue.
“It’s probably going to be a YouTube sensation,” Shaun O’Hara said. “Initially we were all concerned and pretty scared. When you see your quarterback bleeding like that, it was kind of like something out of a Friday the 13th movie. But I think now that we know that it’s pretty much a laceration, maybe it will make him look a little tougher.”
Jacobs said that Manning will be fine. He said it so many times, in fact, that it was almost as if he was trying to convince himself. True Manning did not show any signs of a concussion and X-rays were negative. Still, Jacobs was adamant about Manning’s well-being.
“Eli is fine,” Jacobs said. “There’s nothing frightening. Eli’s fine. He’s going to wake up in the morning, he’s going to come back to camp ready to work. It’s not going to be an issue at all.”
Manning’s teammates certainly were taking things lightly afterward, enough to suspect that Manning will indeed be fine – if not sore for a few days.
“Wow, it’s bad,” Jim Sorgi said of his first thoughts on seeing the blood. “He’s a tough guy. He’s just like his brother. They’re Iron Men. They’re not going to come out unless they have to come out. If this was a regular-season game you might have seen him come back. Luckily it was a preseason game, he didn’t have to play any more and he could take care of himself.”
O’Hara said he had a chance to see Manning at halftime.
“I came in to check on him and offered him a beer,” O’Hara said. “I think he was a little shaken up just because that’s kind of a freak thing. It’s not something you’re thinking is going to happen. Eli is a little squirmy, too when it comes to his own blood, so kudos to him for not fainting on the field.”