MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — As the ball sailed out of bounds on the Giants’ sideline, coach Tom Coughlin did his best to get out of the line of fire. But he couldn’t move away fast enough from cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who was defending a fourth-quarter pass attempt to Jarvis Landry in the Giants’ 31-24 win over the Dolphins.
Rodgers-Cromartie sent the coach flying, and Coughlin tumbled to the ground, hitting his head at one point.
But the 69-year-old coach wasn’t seriously hurt. In fact, he felt better afterward.
“Actually, it helped,” Coughlin said, breaking into a grin during his postgame news conference. “It snapped my neck. It feels a whole hell of a lot better right now. Thanks for asking.”
Rodgers-Cromartie had to miss a little time after the collision. He appeared shaken up.
“He almost took me out,” Rodgers-Cromartie joked after the game. “Running over there, I saw him at the last minute. We had a nice little collision.”
Rodgers-Cromartie said his biggest fear was that the coach had been hurt, but the cornerback was relieved to see Coughlin get back up and resume coaching.
“I’m just glad he was OK,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “I was a little nervous there for a minute.”
The play was reminiscent of the last time Coughlin was wiped out on the sideline. In the Giants’ 29-14 win over the Jets in the next-to-last game of the 2011 season. Coughlin couldn’t get out of the way and running back Danny Ware collided with him.
Coughlin wound up hurting his hamstring, an injury that still affects him today.
“I got hit good in that one,” Coughlin said. “[The hamstring] was torn off the bone. Now it’s supposedly OK, but it still bothers me.”