Tom Coughlin channeled his inner LL Cool J when discussing Kenny Phillips’ knee injury today.
Don’t call it a setback, he said.
Whatever he calls it, it will keep Phillips out for Sunday’s game against the Bengals and allow him to rest his ailing knee through the bye week. Coughlin said the team has shut their safety down until at least the Nov. 25 game against the Packers.
"It's not a setback," Coughlin insisted, even though at this time last week Phillips was practicing and talking as if he planned to play against the Steelers. "I think what's going to happen is we're going to try to rest him this week and then through the bye, and hopefully we can get him back."
The Giants did get an infusion of depth at safety with the return of Will Hill. He’s missed the last four games serving a suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances (he claims he used the prescription drug Adderall prior to signing with the Giants in the spring and tested positive for it after signing). Hill was playing well before his suspension.
Speaking of non-setbacks, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks was not practicing today either. He’d managed to work himself off the injury report after struggling through foot and knee injuries for most of the first half of the season. For two straight weeks he participated in each practice. But Coughlin said the swelling returned to Nicks’ knee and so he did not practice. “We’ll rest him today,” Coughlin said. Nicks is listed with a knee injury, with no mention of his foot.
Among the others not practicing were: Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), Chris Snee (ankle) and Jacquian Williams (knee). Chase Blackburn (hamstring) and Chris Canty (groin) were doing some running and lateral drills on the side. Bear Pascoe (ankle) was warming up with the quarterbacks but did not seem to be participating in individual drills.
The good news is that David Baas (ankle) was practicing, as was Andre Brown (shoulder) and Martellus Bennett (whatever). Keith Rivers (calf) was also practicing.
Without Snee, the Giants do not have a true guard to take the practice reps at his position. The Giants are either extremely confident that Snee will be able to play on Sunday (he injured his ankle early in the Steelers game and played through it) or have something in the works to bring a player in. They waived Mitch Petrus, who would have been Snee’s backup, over the weekend to make room for Travis Beckum on the roster.