Rested, rejuvenated and ready to go, the Giants today held the first of their three full-scale practices for Sunday’s NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Philadelphia Eagles. And for the first time in months, they had almost the entire roster healthy enough to work.
Only two players missed practice: defensive end Justin Tuck with a lower leg/knee injury and linebacker/long snapper Zak DeOssie with a sore back. No one else was even listed as limited.
With everyone working, the practice had a different feel than most of those in the final six weeks of the regular season, when 10 or more players sometimes missed practice because of injuries. The bye week gave everyone a chance to heal and recharge their batteries.
“It’s just fun,” defensive tackle Barry Cofield said. “You feel like you’re back at the OTAs (the springtime organized team activities) and minicamp when everyone is young and there are no wrinkles on your face and everyone has fresh legs running around and having a good time. We had a chance to get away from it. Guys weren’t flying around the country hanging out, but at the same time just to be able to sit back and watch other teams and spend some time with your family and just be off the field for a couple of days helped everybody. It rejuvenates your legs, but it also refreshes you. Guys are more excited and hungry to get out there and play football again.”
On the flip side, four Eagles did not practice on Wednesday and three of them are big names: running back Brian Westbrook (knee), tackle Jon Runyan (knee), cornerback Asante Samuel (hip) and fullback Dan Klecko (shoulder).
Four Eagles were limited: Safety Brian Dawkins (back), linebacker Stewart Bradley (rib), defensive end Victor Abiamiri (foot) and guard Shawn Andrews (back). It was Andrews’ first practice since he suffered a herniated disk on Sept. 15 in Dallas. He had surgery on Oct. 21.