|Ahmad Bradshaw will start Sunday vs. the Eagles, according to Giants coach Tom Coughlin. (US Presswire)|
Coach Tom Coughlin still reserves the right to go with “the hot hand” in the Giants' backfield, but he said veteran running back Ahmad Bradshaw will start on Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Backup Andre Brown had accumulated 184 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries since Bradshaw went down with a neck injury in the first half of the Giants’ Week 2 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bradshaw returned to practice on Wednesday and Coughlin said he envisions a scenario where both he and Brown contribute.
“One year we had three guys,” Coughlin said. “It’s a long, long way to go and we’re just happy that we had an opportunity to develop some players and they will all have a chance to contribute.”
Bradshaw was solid but unspectacular before injuring his neck, gaining 94 yards on 22 carries and adding a touchdown.
Brown gained 113 yards in his first career start -- the Giants’ 36-7 Week 3 win over the Carolina Panthers -- becoming just the second player in New York’s last 17 games, including the postseason, to break the century mark in a single game.
There will be extra emphasis on the Giants’ running game this week as the Eagles’ rank third in the league defending the pass and 16th in run defense.
Coach Tom Coughlin insists Philadelphia’s defense is “pretty good against everything” but they’ve given up around 100 yards on the ground in all three games they played so far. Meanwhile the defense has five interceptions and seven sacks during that span, while yielding a league-low 50.5 completion percentage.
The Giants are third in the league in passing yards, but for the first time in a while, they might need their running game to secure the victory.
Lawrence Tynes honored: After setting a personal record with five field goals (in five attempts) in Thursday’s win over the Panthers, Tynes was named the NFC’s special teams player of the week. This is the third time he’s earned the honor with the Giants after being named the AFC special teams player of the week twice during his tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Tynes connected from 47 and 49 yards away on Thursday.
Linebacker Spencer Paysinger (two tackles, forced fumble, fumble recovery) and punter Steve Weatherford (two punts downed inside the 20-yard line) also played well against the Panthers.
Could Prince Amukamara start vs. Philly? With all of the injuries the Giants have endured in the secondary -- Corey Webster (hand), Michael Coe (hamstring), Jayron Hosley (hamstring) -- the second-year cornerback could find himself starting for the first time as a pro on Sunday night.
“Yes, he has a good chance,” Coughlin said of Amukamara potentially starting Sunday night.
Amukamara debuted against Philadelphia last season, picking off former Eagles quarterback Vince Young nearly the moment he entered the game. This season, however, the former first-round pick has been plagued by a high-ankle sprain and didn’t make an appearance until Week 3.
Who didn’t practice: CB Michael Coe (hamstring), RT David Diehl (knee), CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring), WR Hakeem Nicks (foot) and LB Keith Rivers (hamstring).
Coughlin seemed less optimistic that Diehl could return from his MCL injury this week. Expect Sean Locklear to be back at right tackle on Sunday with Will Beatty working quarterback Eli Manning’s blind side.
Nicks will practice on Thursday, which will be his usual routine until his foot allows him to do more.
Bradshaw practiced on Wednesday, albeit with larger shoulder pads. WR Domenik Hixon (concussion), S Antrel Rolle (knee), DE Adewale Ojomo (hamstring) and CB Corey Webster (hand) also practiced. Webster is wearing an oversized cast on his broken right hand, but will wear a smaller one against the Eagles.
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