On to Dallas! But first, a soothing massage.
The Giants will institute one of their recovery cycles on Friday, skipping a traditional football practice for the chance to allow their bodies to heal and prepare for the upcoming game. It's a technique the Giants tried leading up to the preseason game against the Jets, and even though they lost that game, 28-18, Tom Coughlin has decided to try the approach again.
The new theory is that players will be pushed hard at practices on Wednesday and Thursday, given Friday to recover through a variety of activities and stations, and then participate in a more up-tempo workout on Saturday. In the past, Coughlin has practiced the team Wednesday through Friday and had a walk-through on Saturdays.
"It's always about being at your peak on a Sunday, making sure you are dialed into the details and ready to go," said running back Rashad Jennings two weeks ago when the system was first applied. "You have a mandatory focus on taking care of your body, and that's the machine that helps you operate as a pro. I think we're going to reap benefits from it."
It's facetiously called "Spa Day" because of the relaxing nature of the activities. The players go through their normal football-centric meetings and film studies on the recovery days, but instead of practicing they choose two of six stations based on seniority: yoga, contrast bath (between a hot and cold tub), massage, self-massage with stick rollers and elastic bands, FMS (Functional Movement Screen) exercises designed for the individual, and air compression boots.
Other teams in the league have embraced similar techniques. Given the Giants' injury woes in recent years, Coughlin was willing to try it in the preseason and has carried it over into the regular season.
"The proof," he said when first describing the system, "will come later as to how we perform."