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Eli Manning not concerned about "back injury"

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** Eli Manning (back) is on the Giants' injury report for the first time this season, though he insists he doesn't belong there.

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"I never really looked at it," Manning said. "I don't know if I really deserve to be on an injury report. Kind of told me they had to list something. I said okay. You can't really control that.

"If I were truly injured, then that would be fine. I don't really consider myself injured right now." Manning added he "didn't earn the right" to be on the injury report.

Manning received treatment after the Giants' victory last Sunday in Tennessee. Today, he had a little fun with reporters probing for details about how and where he was, uh, hurt.

"It wasn't a hit," he said. "I feel good. It wasn't a play or anything; I wouldn't worry too much about it. I'm not."

Asked if got to choose a body part to list on the report, Manning said, "What did they go with? Back? Back - generic enough. That's good. That works."

Manning was officially listed as limited at practice, but insisted he's perfectly fine.

"I feel good, the coach wanted me to take a few reps off," Manning said. "It wasn't many reps anyway, so it is not going to limit me in my practices for the week, or the game. Just kind of some of the procedures you have to go through now in the NFL.

"Took most of the reps. Ryan Nassib got a few reps, but that is not totally uncommon, anyway, Kind of looked at it, looked at plays I definitely wanted. Some new stuff, some things that were in the signals, possible checks, a few runs here or there, a few passes we've thrown a thousand times, but let Ryan Nassib get a few reps."

Whatever he has won't prevent Manning from starting his 176th consecutive game (165th regular season) Sunday, when the Giants host Washington.

That is the third-longest streak among quarterbacks in NFL history and the longest streak among all active players, regardless of position. Manning doesn't keep track of the number, but he is proud of what it represents.

"I want to be there for my teammates, I want to be there for the organization," Manning said. "We have a lot of guys who are banged up and hurting, they are there practicing, they are there playing on Sundays, and I want to do the same for them, always. You definitely want to be there for your teammates to show that you are committed and you are doing whatever you can to be out there on the field for them."

Manning's durability and consistency serves as a sharp contrast to the quarterback situation for the Giants' next opponent. The Giants have had one starting quarterback for 10 years. Washington has started three this season. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said on a conference call this morning he didn't know who would start on Sunday. He would prefer to play Colt McCoy, who has started the previous three games, but he suffered a sprained neck injury last week vs. St. Louis. So Gruden punted when asked if he has decided on a starter for the Giants game.

"We cannot say that right now," said Gruden, whose team is 3-10. "We are going to practice today and see where Colt McCoy stands as a far as his motion and his flexibility is concerned and hopefully we will determine that by the end of the day or tomorrow."

Robert Griffin III opened the season as the starter. He suffered an ankle injury in Week 2, so Kirk Cousins took over for five games. When Gruden became dissatisfied with Cousins, he turned to McCoy, who led Washington to a surprise victory in Dallas. RGIII returned as the starter for the next three games before Gruden again handed the reins to McCoy.

Gruden said McCoy's physical condition will be the overriding factor as he decides who will start.

Get to know the Giants' opponent for their Week 15 matchup vs. Washington

"Colt McCoy will probably just do some individual stuff and I will get a look at the other two quarterbacks in practice," Gruden said, "and then make a decision." Gruden later said at a news conference at Washington's facility that he won't announce anything until he evaluates the full week of practice. McCoy was listed as limited, though Gruden said, "he did good today." He added that Griffin and Cousins each took snaps.

Quarterback uncertainty is not new in Washington. When McCoy opened the game against the Cowboys, he became the Redskins' 10th starter at the position since Manning took over the Giants' job with seven games remaining in the 2004 season. That is the highest number in the NFC East (Philadelphia has started nine and Dallas eight). Officially, 26 different quarterbacks have started for NFC East teams since Manning ascended to No. 1, because Donovan McNabb started for both Philadelphia and Washington, but counts just once.

Throughout the NFL, 161 other quarterbacks have started during Manning's decade-long tenure.

"We've been able to, for a number of years, have a starter that's been in his position no matter what, game in and game out," coach Tom Coughlin said. "No question, that's a solid, solid plus to be able to do that."

He doesn't have to explain that to Jay Gruden.

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