The Giants' season is only four games old, but it has already taken a toll on the team's wide receivers.
Hakeem Nicks has missed the last two games with foot and knee injuries and didn't practice today. Domenik Hixon sat out the victory at Carolina with a concussion. Hixon returned Sunday night in Philadelphia (where he had a career-high 114 receiving yards), but the team revealed today that Ramses Barden suffered a concussion in the game. Barden's status is uncertain for the Giants' home game Sunday vs. Cleveland.
"They're dropping like flies, man," Victor Cruz said of his fellow wide receivers. "Every time I look up there's another one gone."
That puts more pressure on Cruz, whose 32 receptions are twice as many as tight end Martellus Bennett, the team runner-up, and 18 more than Nicks, the closest receiver.
"I guess I have no choice but to get used to it," said Cruz, who had a game-high nine catches for 109 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles. "It's definitely something that I've had to adjust to, getting used to different coverages and different safeties being in my area and things like that. So, I'm excited about the new challenges, it's been fun and I've been able to get myself open and make some plays. It's been exciting, so far."
"It seems like he's doing well," quarterback Eli Manning said of Cruz. "He's making a lot of catches, a lot of plays for us, and doing a good job getting open. He's just doing his job, and reading the coverages and running the right routes."
*Tom Coughlin today said he does not know if Nicks will practice tomorrow, his normal work day. "I'm not sure if it's swollen," Coughlin said. "I think it's not so as to inhibit him when he walks. He looks pretty good walking."
*Coughlin said Barden suffered the concussion late in the 19-17 loss in Philadelphia Sunday night.
"He complained of a headache and asked if he could be evaluated," Coughlin said. "They sent him for the evaluation yesterday. I think a lot of the symptoms were okay, but there was enough there to slow him down. He is on the (concussion) protocol.
"It (occurred) on one of those plays at the end of the game. He said he got a blow to the back of the head."
*Aside from Nicks and Barden, six other players missed practice today with injuries: center David Baas (hand), guard Chris Snee (hip), cornerback Corey Webster (hand), safety Kenny Phillips (knee), defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (quad) and linebacker Michael Boley (hip).
Boley, who missed all of training camp with a hamstring injury, said the team is just being cautious with his hip.
"It's something that's been ongoing for a little while," he said, "so today was just kind of rest it a little bit and get it a little bit better."
Asked if he will practice tomorrow, Boley said, "I would hope so.
*Four players were limited in practice: tackle David Diehl (knee), cornerback Jayron Hosley (hamstring), linebacker Keith Rivers (hamstring) and safety Antrel Rolle (knee). Cornerback Michael Coe (hamstring) practiced fully.
Rolle played the entire game in Philadelphia after suffering a laceration and contusion on his knee in the game against the Panthers. Asked how his knee felt, Rolle said, "You play the game or you don't. That's my answer."