Brandon Jacobs said his neck is fine. But in doing so, he may have revealed another sore spot.
While talking about his health Monday, the Giants' running back who seems to have been demoted from first to second option behind Ahmad Bradshaw, dropped some not-so-subtle air quotes with his hands while talking about his role.
"I'll be out there today, full speed, doing what's 'called upon' for me to do," he said.
The implication may have been that Jacobs is unhappy with what he's been called upon to do.
Certainly, though, Jacobs' neck is feeling better after he injured it in the weight room late last week. He said he was doing shrugs and had not warmed up properly. He missed Saturday's game but he was practicing, as promised, at full speed Monday.
Jacobs said missing the game Saturday - and getting only four carries for 2 yards in the preseason opener against the Jets - has not affected his preseason preparation.
"I don't have any rust," he said. "This is what I do. It's my sixth year in the league, I know what it is, I know what is coming to and there's no rust. Just get out there and do what I'm called upon to do."
The Giants and their fans are certainly familiar with the condition. Eli Manning suffered from it last season. He was able to play through it, which gives the Giants some hope about Ross' return. "But it is a different position," Coughlin noted.
Ross' 2009 season was basically a wash with a series of hamstring injuries, but this summer he has looked healthy - sharp at cornerback and returning punts; he had a 45-yard return Saturday.
The Giants also announced that WR Ramses Barden has a stress fracture of a transverse process and S Michael Johnson has a "disc issue" in his back. Coughlin said Barden could be back in a week or so. "If you can handle the pain, you can go," Coughlin said.