EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — While the New York Giants appeared to avoid any serious injuries for their mid-week game against the Washington Redskins, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any lineup changes.
Coach Tom Coughlin said Monday that safety Stevie Brown was not hurt when he was replaced by rookie Nat Berhe in the second half of the 30-17 win over the Houston Texans Sunday.
Coughlin did not want to discuss the change. There was no indication who would start on Thursday night when the Giants (1-2) played the Redskins (1-2) in Washington.
Brown was pulled after he was beaten on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Damaris Johnson. He exchanged words with coordinator Perry Fewell after the play.
Berhe was on the field for 19 plays and made two tackles.
“It’s my experience of seeing him play in training camp and in preseason, he is a hitter,” linebacker Jameel McClain said Monday. “I’m a sucker for a hitter. Some people like certain things and I like people who come down and hit. That’s one of the things I like about him. He has a lot good things to his game but what I like the most is that he’ll come in and hit you.”
Ironically, there won’t be a lot of hitting as the Giants prepare for Washington, which is coming off a 37-34 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles (3-0).
Quarterback Eli Manning acknowledged Monday on WFAN radio that the short week can be tough, especially for the road team.
“You’re already behind,” Manning told host Mike Francesa. “We’ll make sure the offensive line, running backs will meet some extra just to make sure we’re all on the same page. In this scenario you want to run plays you are familiar with, that you’ve run before in training camp and earlier this season. You don’t want to get too advanced where you are running things you haven’t really had a chance to practice this week.”
Players came in late Monday and had introductory meetings for the game. The only full day of practice will be on Tuesday and Coughlin said nothing will be done at full speed.
“Really the field work is very minimal,” Coughlin said. “We want them to see everything but we don’t want a lot of exertion. … I want them to move around enough to help the soreness, work the soreness out.”
Offensive tackle Justin Pugh, who took an ice bath on Monday, said this is a week where the players have to do some of the preparations away from team facility.
Pugh said he will undergo cryotherapy, a treatment in which very cold temperatures are used to decrease inflammation and increase blood flow. He will also get a massage, have acupuncture and eat the right foods.
“It’s something where it’s part of the NFL, you have to be able to do that and get your body right,” Pugh said.
The good news for the Giants is that they are playing the Redskins, a team they play twice a year. It’s not like facing the Texans, who they meet once every three years.
McClain, who had a team-high 11 tackles moving from strongside linebacker to the middle for the injured Jon Beason, said both teams face short weeks so there is no advantage.
“It’s more of a mental-preparation style week,” McClain said. “You really can’t go into the physical because your body doesn’t recover until Tuesday or Wednesday.”
Coughlin said coming out of the game relatively healthy has other benefits. Players can concentrate on the game plan.
“That is the challenge is to get them back to the point where that’s all behind them,” Coughlin said. “If you do happen to stay away from injuries of any kind, even some of the muscular kind that people play with but doesn’t make them a high percentage of health, you are better off.”
NOTES: Coughlin is not sure whether Beason (foot-ankle) will be able to play on Thursday. …First-round draft pick Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is making progress but Coughlin is not sure when he will make his NFL debut. … “We are trying to be as patient as we can with the idea being that when we get him back, we are going to have him,” Coughlin said. …The Giants are playing their Thursday game on the road for the third consecutive season. They beat Carolina in 2012 and lost in Chicago last season.
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