By Curt Macysyn
In the NFL, the outcome often does not go according to script, and that sentiment categorizes the 2013 season for young David Wilson. Wilson, who had a coming out party last season against the New Orleans Saints and validated his elevation to a starting role with New York with an 84-yard touchdown run against the New York Jets in August, was placed on season ending injured reserve by the New York Giants. Andre Brown, whose season seemingly ended before it started when he sustained a fractured leg against New England in the final pre-season game, was activated off of the injured reserve-designated for return list and will play on Sunday.
The Oakland Raiders come into the game with several players dinged up, but thankful for dodging a bullet with knee injury sustained to quarterback Terrelle Pryor against the Philadelphia Eagles last week. Pryor practiced fully yesterday and was not listed on the injury report posted on the Giants website. Running back Darren McFadden likely will not play as he nurses a hamstring injury, also sustained last week.
New York Giants
In addition to David Wilson, the Giants also placed defensive tackle Shaun Rogers on the injured reserve list with a knee injury. To take Rogers place on the roster, the Giants activated second-year man Markus Kuhn off of the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Kuhn injured a knee and underwent surgery last season. It’s questionable whether or not Kuhn will be placed into the defensive tackle rotation this week, but Andre Brown will certainly see repetitions in the backfield.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin indicated that Peyton Hillis will get the start at running back and also expect rookie Michael Cox to be active on Sunday, as Brandon Jacobs is still nursing knee and hamstring issues. Jacobs was inactive the two games prior to the Giants bye week, and with Brown in the fold, the additional depth at running back will allow the team to rest Jacobs.
Just as the running back situation got a little more positive, the cornerback position has become problematic for New York. With Aaron Ross already lost for the season with a back injury, Corey Webster and Trumaine McBride did not practice on Thursday. Webster is dealing with a lingering groin issue, and he was declared out of Sunday’s game. McBride tweaked his groin on Wednesday but was able to practice on Friday, so he status is questionable for Sunday.
Another cornerback, Jayron Hosley (hamstring), has been a limited participant in practice this week, and Terrell Thomas did not practice on Wednesday and was limited in practice on Thursday. For Thomas, his practice schedule may be part of the maintenance program he is on due to a thrice-injured knee. With Prince Amukamara patrolling the right cornerback spot, it would appear that Thomas may start at the left spot. Hosley has been off the field in his career more than he has been productive for Big Blue.
The only other cornerback on the roster is rookie Charles James (Charleston Southern). This situation bears watching as the weekend plays out, however, but the Giants should be thankful that the Raiders are not a great passing squad.
Another area that bears watching is the status of Victor Cruz. Cruz sustained a neck injury against the Philadelphia Eagles but returned to action in that game. Cruz did not practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday. The Giants big play receiver was spotted wearing a non-contact red jersey on the practice field. Expectations are that Cruz will play on Sunday, but how he performs is yet another question.
The Raiders had seven members of their squad unable to practice on Thursday, including starters Tony Pashos, Darren McFadden and Tyvon Branch. McFadden, in particular, looks like a long shot to play on Sunday, in which case Rashad Jennings will get the start. Jennings had 104 yards on the ground against the Philadelphia Eagles when he replaced the injured McFadden in the backfield.
Right tackle Pashos is still nursing a a hip injury from the Raiders loss at Kansas City in October, and his backup, former Giant Matt McCants, also missed practice this week with a toe injury. This area bears watching as the weekend progresses to see if the Raiders choose to bring in an offensive line re-enforcement. In any case, the right side of the Raiders offensive line will be compromised because rookie Manelik Watson will get the start if neither Pashos nor McCants cannot play. Watson, himself, has battled knee and calf injuries this season.
Starting safety Branch may be out with an ankle injury, so untested Brandien Ross will get the start, which would be a big downgrade for the Raiders. Rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden injured his groin in practice on Wednesday and did not practice on Thursday. Raiders head coach Dennis Allen conceded that Hayden’s status for Sunday was uncertain.
Reserve linebacker Kuluka Maiava did not practice with a rib injury, while oft-injured wide receiver Juron Criner sprained his shoulder on Sunday. Criner was seeing his first action of the season against the Eagles, and it was reported that he was in a sling at Raiders practice. He played more snaps than either Rod Streater or Jacoby Ford against Philadelphia.
Seemingly each week Raiders kicker Sebastian Janokowski shows up on the team’s injury report, and seemingly each week the veteran kicker boots a long field goal. This week, Jankowski’s ribs are the problem, but bet the ranch that he plays on Sunday.
Backup center/guard Andre Gurode has a quad injury that limited him in practice, and backup wide receiver Andre Holmes was limited with a hamstring pull.
New York Giants
- CB Terrell Thomas (Knee)
- WR Victor Cruz (Neck)
- TE Adrien Robinson (foot)
- CB Jayron Hosley (Hamstring)
- CB Trumaine McBride (Groin)
- RB Brandon Jacobs (Hamstring/Knee)
- RB David Wilson (Neck/Injured Reserve)
- DT Shaun Rogers (Knee/Injured Reserve)
- CB Corey Webster (Groin)
- K Sebastian Janokowski (Ribs)
- C/OG Andre Gurode (Quad)
- OT Tony Pashos (Hip)
- OT Matt McCants (Toe)
- CB D.J. Hayden (Groin)
- WR Andre Holmes (Hamstring)
- RB Darren McFadden (Hamstring)
- S Tyvon Branch (Ankle)
- LB Kaluka Maiava (Ribs)
- Juron Criner (Shoulder)
For more Giants news and updates, visit Giants Central.
Curt Macysyn has been covering the New York Football Giants for the past two seasons for Examiner.com. Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Curt has followed and covered the New York Metropolitan sports scene for 35 years. He attended Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, NJ and is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick. His work can be found on Examiner.com.