By Curt Macysyn
Being in first place obviously means a lot to the 2015 edition of the New York Giants, especially after the team started this NFL campaign with consecutive losses. But Big Blue’s comeback victory over the San Francisco 49ers had a more personal effect on the squad, as the team dedicated the victory to teammate Daniel Fells, who remains hospitalized with a MRSA infection in his foot.
Lost in the euphoria of Sunday’s win were the leg injuries to Odell Beckham and Rueben Randle, which forced both to come out of the game. Beckham returned down the stretch, but concerns abound, as depth at the receiver position is stretched to the limit.
Fells Still Hospitalized
Multiple media reports over the weekend indicated that New York Giants’ tight end Daniel Fells was in jeopardy of losing his foot, as a result of the aggressive staph infection that has infiltrated his limb. But those reports may not be accurate, according to the New York Daily News. Although it seems likely that the veteran tight end’s NFL career may be over, his long term recovery may not be as ominous as some have predicted.
“The career of the 32-year-old tight end is almost certainly over because of the MRSA infection he’s been hospitalized with for more than a week, according to an NFL source familiar with his situation. He has already had five surgeries to help him fight the infection and is likely to have one or two more before he leaves the hospital, the source said,” according to Giants’ beat writer Ralph Vacchiano.
Reports that the surgeries have removed part of his foot may not be accurate, and the team is also hopeful that the reduction in Fells’ body temperature means that his infection is under control. The team gave Fells the game ball from Sunday night’s victory and connected with him over Skype at their team meeting on Monday morning.
“We dedicated the game to Daniel Fells and his family, and thank God we were able to give him the game ball. That was some football game tonight and to have a guy from his (position) room go up there and make that catch at the end of the game was just incredible,” Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin said Sunday night.
Cruz, Beckham and Randle
This is not a law firm, but all three gentlemen may be in civilian clothes as the Giants take on the Eagles in Philadelphia on Monday night. Veteran receiver Victor Cruz has not played this season, after injuring a calf muscle in training camp, but his injury woes date back almost one year to the day in the City of Brotherly Love. In the 27-0 Eagles’ whitewash of the G-men last October 12, Cruz ruptured the patellar tendon in his right knee.
Both Randle and Cruz strained their hamstrings in Sunday night’s comeback victory over the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium. Head coach Tom Coughlin hopes that the extra day of rest may pay dividends in allowing the players some additional recovery time.
“We’ll see how fast they respond,” Coughlin said. “They’re going to have to treat. They’ve got a couple days when they can be treated as Thursday will be a Wednesday (in the work week, because of the Monday night game). So we do have a couple of days and we’ll take full advantage of that. I did tell our team that the important thing on a weekly basis, week in and week out, is to play these really tough physical football games and come right back and do it again the next week. We need more of our guys on the practice field, we need some consistency with our weeks. I’m hoping that we can get Odell and Rueben at least on a limited basis for the entire rest of the week. I know that’s (optimistic), but I would hope we could do that.”
If all three players cannot make a go in Philadelphia, the Giants will be forced to utilize Dwayne Harris, Myles White and Geremy Davis against the Eagles. At that point, it would be likely that the team looks for reinforcements on the waiver wire. Both Hakeem Nicks and Wes Welker came to the Quest Diagnostics Center a couple of weeks ago for a try-out. At that time, Coughlin indicated that Welker was impressive in his workout.
Harris has seen an increased workload over the past few weeks, but he cannot carry the workload entirely. The team also has wide receivers Julian Talley and Tavarres King on their practice squad, as potential fill-ins.
Curt Macysyn has been covering the New York Football Giants for the past four seasons for Examiner.com, and he is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA). Born and raised in New Jersey, Curt attended Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, N.J. and is a graduate of Rutgers University – New Brunswick. Follow him on Twitter @CurtMac23 for the latest NFL and New York Giants news.