The Rams and the Giants will play each other in prime time on Monday night.
And you thought the era of the medical drama was over?
Two of the most banged-up teams in the league will bring their triage units in front of the Monday Night Football audience. The Giants’ injury woes have certainly been well-recounted here, and there is still some concern about whether they will have their best defensive player (Justin Tuck) or their best offensive player (Hakeem Nicks) available for this game.
The Rams, meanwhile, will have quarterback Sam Bradford playing with a bruised index finger on his throwing hand. They’ll also be without their best receiver in Danny Amendola (dislocated elbow) and probably without their top running back in Steven Jackson (quad).
“We took some hits,” Rams head coach and former Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said in an interview on WFAN today. “It’s difficult to get any of them anytime, but when they come in the first game it’s a little bit rough.”
The Giants didn’t even get that far with most of theirs. But Spagnuolo said he’s not expecting to be able to take advantage of the Giants’ mounting injuries.
“I’m never going to take anybody for granted, certainly not the New York Giants,” he said. “I think the world of Tom Coughlin, I think anytime he’s in change of a unit playing football you have to worry about them. Eli Manning, anytime you have a franchise or an elite quarterback, that’s a challenge. They’ve always played good defense. I’ve seen both sides of the ball and I see a good football team that is kind of going through what we’re going through. The injuries take their toll. You know how it is in this league, from Week 1 to Week 2 a lot of things change and for both of our teams we’re hoping it changes on Monday night.”
Spagnuolo also said that he has enough on his plate without worrying about coming back to New York for the first time as a head coach.
“I try not to get wrapped up in that,” he said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for that organization, coach Coughlin, all the players and coaches there. We have things we’re dealing with here and I think you have to focus on what you’re doing in your building. In this league, we all say it, it’s a marathon not a sprint. We do know that this challenge coming up on Monday night in New York will be steep.”
A few other thoughts from Spags:
* He seemed confident that Bradford will play, but said the quarterback has not thrown a football since the game against the Eagles on Sunday.
* He would not rule out Jackson, saying that they’ll wait until the end of this long week to see where he’s at. If Jackson cannot play, Cadillac Williams would be the starting running back.
* He said that Bradford is “above and beyond” where they thought he’d be in his second year even though they had to change offenses when they brought in Josh McDaniels. “I think Sam has embraced the new offense,” he said, “it just takes a little while for all of those things to gel.”
* Prime time games are nothing new for the Giants, but it will be a new experience for many of the Rams. “The goal now is to stay there,” Spags said. “You don’t want it to be a one shot and done … We’re sure proud of the fact that we are playing the Giants on Monday night this coming week. But if we get too wrapped up in that we forget the most important part, which is the football.”