New York Giants top draft pick Prince Amukamara stood uncomfortably on crutches Sunday, one day after breaking his left foot in practice. He’s expected to have surgery and may be sidelined for up to two months.
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The former Nebraska All-American cornerback was all smiles Friday after getting a four-year, $8.1 million contract following a weeklong holdout. The No. 19 overall pick in the draft will have to wait a bit longer to put on the Giants’ uniform.
”I’ve never broken a bone before and never had surgery before,” Amukamara said Sunday. ”It’s just a little bit of adversity that I’m going to have to deal with. I’m really down on myself right now. I feel like I let the team and myself down.”
He broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his foot during his second practice and will have surgery to insert a screw. The 6-foot, 206-pound rookie was going through a passing drill Saturday night when he got tangled up with receiver Duke Calhoun.
”We were in press coverage and I just stopped,” Amukamara said. ”I tried to make a cut and I don’t know if he (Calhoun) stepped on my foot or not. It was one of those random injuries. It was a freak thing.”
Amukamara said that he knew something was wrong, but tried to play on the injured foot for one more play.
”Then I had to come out,” Amukamara said. ”That’s when it hit home with me. I just have to get through this adversity.”
He’s not sure when he’ll have surgery.
”The sooner, the better,” he said. ”I just have to focus on the things I can control.”
Giants coach Tom Coughlin couldn’t believe the rookie’s bad luck.
”I am just shocked,” Coughlin said before practice Sunday. ”You wait and wait to get the guy in and then this happens. We were very conscious that he hadn’t been around and that we were going to take good care of him, but that was to no avail. I’m greatly disappointed. Hopefully, he’ll be on track to recover.”
Coughlin said defensive end Osi Umenyiora had no plans to practice Sunday. The dispute continued between the two-time Pro Bowl lineman and the team about a new contract or possible trade.
”There’s nothing new to report,” Coughlin said. ”He’s not practicing. I would like to think it will all be resolved quickly.”
Giants right tackle Will Beatty can give Amukamara some advice because he sustained the same injury and had surgery last year. He was out for eight weeks, including the bye.
”It was a painful experience,” said Beatty, who is expected to be the team’s starter at right tackle this season. ”Recovering from that injury is tough, because there isn’t much you can do in a cast, in a boot. You’re not able to walk and everything you do requires you to walk. With the rehab and treatment, it wasn’t the easiest thing. I did the best that I could do. You have to stay mentally focused and not miss a beat when you come back.”
Beatty said he’d tell the rookie to ”keep his head up and not lose himself in the injury.”
The Giants have lost cornerbacks Bruce Johnson (ruptured Achilles tendon) and Amukamara to injury in the last three days.
New York also is dealing with a loss at tight end. Ben Patrick, signed as a free agent last week, suddenly left camp Saturday and indicated that he was retiring. After veteran Kevin Boss signed with the Oakland Raiders and Patrick retired, it leaves the team short-handed. But it gives holdovers Travis Beckum and Bear Pascoe a chance.
”I was very surprised,” Coughlin said of Patrick’s retirement. ”I had no idea. I don’t think anyone saw this coming. If I was playing tight end on this team, I’d look at it that I have more of an opportunity.”