However, LB Altonio Pierce did not practice and is questionable with a quad injury. But both coach Tom Coughlin and Pierce expressed optimism the middle linebacker will be on the field in Cleveland.
“We expect Pierce will work (Saturday),” Coughlin said. “Right now we are expecting that he will go.”
“I will be good,” Pierce said. “I am coming to work (Saturday) ready to practice and play on Monday. I will be there Monday night, 8:30, you will see me.”
Pierce was replaced on the first-team defense by four-year veteran Chase Blackburn. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo admitted it’s a little strange not having Pierce on the field at practice. As the middle linebacker, Pierce is the natural leader of the unit. He is the one who receives the play calls from Spagnuolo.
“(Pierce) is a nice crutch to have,” Spagnuolo said. “But Chase jumps in there and does a really nice job. He has been around a long time. And the one thing about Chase is every time that I will turn to talk to Antonio, like in prior weeks, he will be right there with an ear. He is smart, he gets it. He knows what it is like to be a backup in the NFL. When his time comes he just steps in. He has done that this week. We hope we get Antonio back, but it is nice to have Chase.”