Yesterday the news of practice was that Prince Amukamara was on the field. Today the new of practice was that he left it.
The first-round draft pick walked gingerly out of the Timex Performance Center fieldhouse about halfway through the full-pad practice on Saturday night. That should have been our first clue that something was out of place because normally, if a player has a cramp or a muscle situation, they handle it on the field. Instead he went to the main building for X-rays that showed a fractured fifth metetarsal bone in his left foot. Amukamara will have surgery and have a screw inserted into his foot. Will Beatty had the same injury last year in the season opener and missed seven weeks, but Beatty is a lineman and the pressures on his foot will be quite different from those on Amukamara’s.
Sigh. We move on.
There were plenty of inactives tonight who, unlike Amukamara, never even got onto the field. Of course Osi Umenyiora was there with his “says he has a sore knee” injury (although it was interesting that in an email the Giants sent out they did not include him among the players who did not practice due to injury). The others were WR Mario Manningham (ankle), CB Brian Jackson (back), WR Devin Thomas (finger), LB Clint Sintim (knee), WR Domenik Hixon (knee), DB Cary Harris (shoulder) and LB Spencer Paysinger (groin). Oh, and Ben Patrick was not at practice because he, um, retired.
A few changes to the starting rotations, where three of the potential top four receivers were sidelined. That meant Victor Cruz got some starting reps opposite Hakeem Nicks. Bear Pascoe was at tight and and Hynoski was at fullback. On defense, Chris Canty and Linval Joseph were the starting defensive tackles but Rocky Bernard split first-team reps with them also. Mathias Kiwanuka was at strongside linebacker.
Here are some highlights from the first series of 11-on-11 snaps:
Cruz made a diving catch on a low pass from Manning … Corey Webster had a well-timed jump from behind Nicks to reach his arm through the receiver’s and bat down a pass … Rosenfels threw a short checkdown pass to Andre Brown but Adrian Tracy was right there to make the play … Training camp darling Kenny Ingram came up and put a big thud on Brown as he came through a hole … Hynoski and Ayanga Okpokowuruk got tangled up with Ibraham Abdulai and Justin Trattou and the four of them wound up on the turf. No one was hurt but I think some of the letters in their names were shaken up.
Jernigan, Aaron Ross and Darius Reynaud were returning punts, which was when Amukamara made his slow limp out of the field house. It was hard to tell who had the better punting day since both guys were hitting the roof a lot, but once again it was clear that Dodge has the stronger leg while Weatherford is more accurate. The Giants have to decide which way they want to go on that. I think you and I already know the answer.
In 7-on-7s Nicks caught a deep out from Manning … Bradshaw went in motion out of the backfield and caught a pass from Manning … Michael Clayton caught a deep slant behind Aaron Ross and it looked like safeties coach Dave Merritt was getting on Tyler Sash for getting there a little too late to break it up. In a game, though, it looked like Sash would probably have destroyed Clayton with a hit … David Carr had consecutive passes dropped by Duke Calhoun and Christian Hopkins. Not a good night for a backup tight end to be dropping passes! … Perrilloux tried to hit Pascoe on a deep seam pass but Darnell Burks came over and made a nice breakup.
Here are some highlights from the second series of 11-on-11 snaps:
Manning’s first pass was intended for Pascoe but it was high … Linval Joseph slid in low and got under the feet of Brandon Jacobs on a run. Not a bad move but probably a little more contact than the Giants would have liked to see … Rosenfels threw a completion to Hopkins but Joe Burnett was there to make the immediate stop … Beckum dropped a pass from Carr, who may be developing a complex based on all the drops that happened to him in this practice … Tyler Sash had good coverage deep on Clayton and broke up a pass from Perrilloux … Perrilloux has a strong arm but on a short out to Beckum he led the receiver a little too much and was incomplete … Da’Rel Scott had a nice run in which he started left but cut back to find an opening on the right.
The real highlight of the series, though, was on a run to the left in which Tyler Sash and Henry Hynoski, a couple of rookies, crashed together. Sash got the better of the hit, sending Hynoski to the deck. That’s the difference between a drafted and an undrafted player, I guess. The defensive backs were very impressed and Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster were among the first on the field to hoot at Hynoski about it.
The team then had a few red zone snaps. On the first one Jason Pierre-Paul came in and slid underneath Eli Manning, causing the quarterback to have to step awkwardly over him. Everyone appeared to be unscathed … Duke Calhoun tried to make a one-handed catch in the back of the end zone on a pass from Rosenfels but couldn’t pull it in … Manning hit Cruz on a short pass but had Boley and Tuck around him when he released it and likely would have been sacked … Jacobs came through the line and had Burks lined up for a collision but the rookie DB from Fort Valley State wanted no part of that and sidestepped the hit.
The Giants finished up with a two-minute drill for the second unit. They started with first-and-10 from the 27 and 1:24 remaining. The first play was a draw to Brown and then Rosenfels hit Brown on a short pass and he got out of bounds with :58 remaining but short of the first. On third-and-3 Rosenfels hit Cruz on an out for the first and he got out of bounds with :53 left. Rosenfels was incomplete on first-and-10 from the 39 but hit Reynaud for 8 yards and he got out of bounds with :44 left. The third-and-2 pass for Todd Watkins was incomplete, which left the team facing fourth-and-2 from the 47 with :41 remaining. Rosenfels tried to go to Watkins again, but this time Woodny Turenne was there to break it up. The Giants defense was blitzing on the down, though, and Sash probably would have had a sack on the play as he and Justin Trattou were both within reach of the quarterback but pulled up to honor the training camp rules.