Upon Further Review: Injuries and Penalties

Posted Aug 23, 2014

Coach Tom Coughlin recaps the Giants' win over the Jets after viewing the game tape

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Hours after his team’s most complete victory of the preseason, Tom Coughlin today spent most of his conference call with the media discussing subjects he’d prefer to avoid – injuries and penalties.

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It’s not that the Giants’ head coach seeks dark clouds in every silver lining. He did acknowledge several highlights from the team’s 35-24 victory over the Jets in the MetLife Bowl. They included a well-executed two-minute drive at the end of the first half that ended with an Eli Manning touchdown pass to Rueben Randle, and the play of quarterback Ryan Nassib and rookie running back Andre Williams.


But four players left the game with injuries: guard Geoff Schwartz, wide receiver Marcus Harris, defensive tackle Markus Kuhn and cornerback Zack Bowman.

“The only negatives coming away from the game from my standpoint were the injuries,” Coughlin said.

Of course, he said that before he was asked about penalties.

The Giants can continue to work on avoiding penalties. But the injuries will affect the team longer and more adversely than the infractions.

Schwartz, the free agent acquisition who has been the starting left guard since he arrived, suffered a dislocated big right toe. Harris, the young receiver who has shown promise throughout camp, has a shoulder injury.

“Those are injuries that are going to be a long while, probably,” Coughlin said.

In addition, defensive tackle Markus Kuhn sprained his ankle and cornerback Zack Bowman injured his triceps.

“(Kuhn’s injury) may hobble him this week, which I am disappointed if that is the case,” Coughlin said. “Quite frankly, I wanted to have the chance for Markus to be able to finish strong here in the preseason based on not being able to go last year (when he was recovering from knee surgery). The Bowman injury I hope is not much, but the disappointment of losing the two players for some length of time is not what preseason is about.”

Schwartz will see a foot specialist to determine the severity of the injury and get a more specific diagnosis and prognosis.

“We don’t want to lose anybody and losing Geoff is a major disappointment,” Coughlin said. “Let’s not jump to conclusions, let’s see what happens when the evaluation is completed as to what the length of time is involved.”

Weston Richburg, the team’s second-round draft choice this year from Colorado State, will get the first opportunity to step in for Schwartz. Richburg, who played primarily center in college, has worked there and at both guard positions this summer.

“We have done various experiments with people at different spots and Richburg has been in there,” Coughlin said. “John Jerry has been in there now and played substantially last night. So we have had the chance to maneuver people around. Dallas Reynolds has played guard as well, so we will just continue to operate in that fashion and hopefully there will be no setback and we can hopefully continue.

“(Richburg) is taking a lot of snaps and he did get a lot of snaps last night. He did alright last night. He plays a number of positions whether it be both guards or both guards and center on any one given night, so he has had to adjust to both sides of the center and the center position as well. He did okay last night and he is a talented young man that is in a position where he is going to have to help us.”


  • In four games, the Giants have been penalized 39 times for 343 yards. In each of the last two weeks, they had the same number of infractions as their opponents – 13 at Indianapolis and 10 vs. the Jets.

    This preseason, the NFL has made illegal contact and defensive holding points of emphasis and has instructed officials to call those infractions as they are written in the rulebook. The result has been an unusually high number of penalties throughout the league.

    Last night, six of the 10 Giants accepted penalties were committed by the defense – two holds, two illegal use of hands, an illegal contact and a personal foul.

    “That is the charge that the officials have been given,” Coughlin said. “I think what our job is (to) clean up the hands to the face. The hands in the face is a foul. I don’t care what else is said, that is not up to some official to decide whether or not it happened or it didn’t happen. Once the official sees that, it is just a penalty. There is no sense in complaining about that one.

    “Some of these fouls when you look at it from the standpoint of your team, you don’t think are anything but incidental contact type things. You could say that is because you are talking about your team, well okay I accept that and am making no excuses for it. I want that area to be cleaned up and I want it to be cleaned up now. I am disappointed with our guys regarding the hands to the face. It is crazy. You know it is going to be called. You cannot afford. Do not put yourself in that position. We will keep working at it.”


  • Coughlin praised rookie wide receiver Corey Washington, who has a fourth-quarter touchdown reception in each of the team’s four games and is tied with Harris for the team lead with nine catches.

    “Anytime anybody plays in a superb fashion, it gets your attention,” Coughlin said. “He has certainly been a big part of any type of fourth quarter success that we have had. You acknowledge the fact that the young man has made progress and, of course, he has one area that he has done very well and this is he will go up and get the ball. That is very noticeable.”

  • Coughlin said cornerback Prince Amukamara, who missed the game with a groin injury, has been running and might return to the field this week…First-round draft choice Odell Beckham Jr. has yet to play this preseason because of a strained hamstring. “I haven’t heard whether Beckham will get any type of work,” Coughlin said. “They say that progress is being made, but I haven’t heard whether or not he will work with us this week…Regarding running back Peyton Hillis (ankle/foot), Coughlin said, “I think they are going to try to do something with (him) this week…Linebacker Jon  Beason (foot/PUP) “continues to make progress.”

  • With the Giants’ victory last night in the MetLife Bowl, the MetLife Foundation donated $30,000 to KaBoom!, a non-profit organization that helps communities build playgrounds for children and the Giants’ selected charity.