Sage Rosenfels made his case.
He hasn’t played in three preseason games after playing well in the first despite a ravenous case of strep throat. That infection eventually spread to his blood and caused him have the back soreness that kept him sidelined. But the veteran feels that he has done enough and can provide enough to win the backup job behind Eli Manning. Rosenfels is competing with David Carr, who has had a rocky preseason (no less rocky than Manning, it should be pointed out).
“I practiced for 17 weeks last year and I played in 46 preseason games over the course of the last 10 years,” Rosenfels said of his portfolio. “Veterans, sometimes you have to go off of things they’ve done in the past and you figure they can do that in the future. I did practice for two weeks and played fairly well in the first preseason game and showed some things that I can do.
“I know confidently that if Eli got hurt I can come in and win games for us,” he added.
He was also wise to point out that Lawrence Tynes was 17-for-18 on field goal attempts with him as his holder.
“We have very good rapport and a good rhythm,” Rosenfels said of Tynes. “I think he whole-heartedly believes I’m the best holder in the league. I take a lot of pride in it and I take a lot of pride that he had a really good season while I was holding.”
The backup quarterback job has become intertwined with the punter job as the Giants figure out their 53-man roster. Someone will have to hold for Tynes. It’s just not clear who yet. It could even be Matt Dodge if the Giants decide to keep him and Carr.
As for his performance in the preseason opener against the Panthers, Rosenfels said he was miserable.
“Other than I was shaking and sweating in my bed throughout the day and could barely get up to go to the bathroom, then came and got a Toradol shot and I don’t know how many milligrams of whatever else I was taking to feel good enough to play, I felt great,” he said.
Not that it was the wisest decision. Playing with that illness likely allowed it to spread and sideline him for the rest of the preseason.
“Who knows,” he said. “When you have strep throat and you go out there and really exert yourself and further weaken yourself it probably helps that strep attack weaknesses in your body … It probably wasn’t the best thing to do but it’s hard to tell a football player not to go out and play if he feels like he’s good enough to get the job done.”
Rosenfels said he has no regrets about playing, though.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen to me,” he said. “I knew I had a throat issue, I knew I felt crappy, but I felt that it had been two weeks of training camp and a long offseason and I wanted to play. Adrenaline kicks in and you don’t feel that bad for a couple of hours, but once you come out of the game it all starts to hit you.”