Bradshaw practices, could play Sunday
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)
Next came the shoes. Equipment manager Joe Skiba brought out three pairs for the fifth-year running back to test, before he decided on the right one.
When the Giants (6-5) lined up to practice Friday for Sunday's home game against the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers (11-0), Bradshaw was in the backfield ready to work out for the first time since breaking a bone in his right foot on Oct. 30 against the Miami Dolphins.
Bradshaw expects to be in the lineup when the Giants attempt to snap a three-game losing streak and end the Packers' run at perfection.
''I feel good,'' Bradshaw said after practice. ''How are you feeling?''
Coach Tom Coughlin was a little more cautious discussing whether Bradshaw will be ready Sunday. While saying his starter looked good and said all the right things, Coughlin said the deciding factors on whether Bradshaw plays will be how his foot feels on Saturday and whether doctors will clear him to play.
''I'm happy to be out there, man,'' Bradshaw said, who was listed as questionable for the game. ''I felt great. I plan on doing whatever I have been doing, like the last weeks I did play. Hopefully, I can handle everything.''
The Giants have struggled rushing this season even with Bradshaw. He had a team-high 440 yards rushing before his injury and the only 100-yard rushing game the Giants have posted this season, a 104-yard game against Buffalo, the week before he was hurt.
New York has 195 yards rushing in the three games Bradshaw missed, with Brandon Jacobs carrying much of the load.
Bradshaw believes he showed Coughlin enough to get him into the game on Sunday.
''I am ready to go, man,'' he said.
Bradshaw did a little running last week, using plenty of padding on his foot and the broken bone. However, he said the padding created pressure on the bone and removed most of it Friday and the foot felt better.
''If I am out there you are going to see everything,'' Bradshaw said. ''I put it all on the field. If I have to break this foot I will, and cut it off.''
The Giants need their offense to be hitting on all cylinders if they want to compete against Aaron Rodgers and the NFL's highest-scoring team.
While Eli Manning has shown the ability to put up points this season, the Giants can't afford another slow start. In the current losing streak, the team has not scored a touchdown in the first half.
''You have to be perfect,'' offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. ''Not perfect, but you have to play as close to your best as you can to have a chance. It's obvious that they're very good and undefeated defending champs. They're a terrific team. To have a chance, you have to be at your best.''
Manning said the Giants remain confident despite the skid that has dropped them a game behind first-place Dallas (7-4) in the NFC East.
''As athletes and players, you always feel like you can go out there and play at a high level,'' he said. ''Offensively, we feel like we moved the ball but we have to clean up a few things and get in the end zone. We feel like we can make a few plays and score, but we have to put it all together. We know we are capable of doing that. We have beaten good teams, it is just a matter of playing at a high level for four quarters.''
Tight end Jake Ballard added the Giants can't settle for field goals against an offense as explosive as Green Bay's.
''We can't go down there and shoot ourselves in the foot and jump offsides and turn the ball over,'' Ballard said. ''You can't do that against good teams. We know if we want to beat the Packers the defense has to play well and the offense has to score every time we get an opportunity to score.''
Having Bradshaw back in the lineup might help.
NOTES: Two-time Pro Bowl DE Osi Umenyiora and MLB Mark Herzlich are going to miss the Packers game with ankle injuries. WR Mario Manningham is doubtful with an injury to his right knee. Bradshaw and Michael Boley (hamstring) are questionable. WR Victor Cruz (hip), DB Derrick Martin (hamstring), WR Hakeem Nicks (ribs/concussion), DE Justin Tuck (ankle) and S Antrel Rolle (back) are probable.