The Giants beat the Patriots earlier this month without a starting running back, a starting receiver and a starting offensive lineman. They may have to try to pull off the same kind of short-handed stunner against the Saints on Monday night.
Mario Manningham missed a third practice this week with a knee injury and is listed as questionable for the game. The wide receiver has experienced swelling in his knee for the last several weeks – it first popped up on the injury report on Nov. 10 but he was injured earlier in the year – and has played through it. On Friday, Manningham insisted he would play.
“I’ve been here for four years with the same quarterback,” he said, stating that missing practices would not hinder him in a game. “I’ve missed one game earlier in the season but I don’t think it makes a difference. We have more practices than games year-round.”
That the Giants ruled Manningham as questionable and not doubtful leaves open the real possibility that he will be able to play. According to the injury report terminology, “questionable” means there is a 50-50 chance of participation.
Manningham is only one of the Giants’ injury concerns. The team had already ruled out LT Will Beatty (eye) and yesterday did the same for RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) and CB Derrick Martin (hamstring). They listed LB Michael Boley (hamstring) as doubtful, but it seems unlikely he will make the flight to New Orleans on Sunday and he will probably be downgraded.
“Hamstrings are tricky,” Boley said. “You can think you feel better and get out there and pull it again. That’s not what I want … For a hamstring, you should take your time with it. The more you try to push yourself too early you’re just going to set yourself back.”
DE Justin Tuck (ankle/shoulder), RT Kareem McKenzie (toe), DE Osi Umenyiora (knee) and RB D.J. Ware (concussion) all practiced yesterday and were all listed as probable for Monday. WR Michael Clayton (knee) was added to the injury report and is questionable.