The team placed rookie defensive tackle Marvin Austin on injured reserve, put wide receiver Ramses Barden and offensive lineman Adam Koets on the reserve/physically unable to perform list and waived/injured wide receiver Duke Calhoun.
Although most NFL teams must reduce their rosters to 80 players today, the Giants and Jets are permitted to carry five extra players from their current roster until Friday, according to a memo sent to all 32 clubs today by Commissioner Roger Goodell. Because of Hurricane Irene and the necessity of re-scheduling their preseason game from Saturday to Monday night, both teams must play two games within a four-day period (the Giants play at New England on Thursday). The memo states the "the New York Giants and the New York Jets will be permitted to retain the 85 players on their Active Lists at the roster reduction scheduled for 4:00 p.m., New York time, today until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on Friday, September 2, the day after their fourth preseason game."
Coach Tom Coughlin, whose team lost last night to the Jets, 17-3, was pleased with the league's decision to give him five extra players for the preseason finale.
"To be able to play this game Thursday night with the additional players is very helpful," Coughlin said.
Austin, the Giants' second-round draft choice this year, tore his left pectoral muscle in last week's preseason victory over Chicago. He underwent surgery today and will miss the entire season.
Barden (ankle) and Koets (knee) are recovering from surgery and have been on the physically unable to perform list since the beginning of training camp. Both players were injured during the 2010 season, Koets on Nov. 7 at Seattle, Barden the following week vs. Dallas.
"That decision was made with the health and well being of the player," Coughlin said. "They are just not ready to go, so you just have to make a most difficult decision at the 53 (regular season roster limit) to take care of them one way or another. Again, we spent an awful lot of time rehabbing these two players and let's hope they can get themselves in position so when needed, they are ready when called."
According to NFL rules, the earliest they can come back is the day after the sixth regular season weekend (the Tuesday after Week 6, since the Monday night games are technically part of the weekend). The Giants host Buffalo on Oct. 16 in Week 6.
When a player is removed from the PUP list, they are allowed up to 21 days of practice before a decision has to be made whether to activate, terminate, or keep them on the reserve/PUP list.
Calhoun, a second-year pro, played in nine games for the Giants in 2010 and had seven special teams tackles. He has had an injured hamstring and did not play last night vs. the Jets.
*Eli Manning's preseason numbers include 27 completions on 55 passes (49.1 percent) for 314 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions (both vs. the Jets). So the question was asked today: Does he miss the veterans who were released or joined other teams – Kevin Boss, Steve Smith, Shaun O'Hara and Rich Seubert.
"What you lose is just experience," Manning said. "Offensive line – (new center) David Baas is an experienced offensive lineman, has played. (Left tackle) Will Beatty has played some. And I thought those guys did outstanding. I thought they played really well all through preseason. First game, worked out a few little kinks, but since then with all of the blitzes that we saw the other night, guys knew who they were blocking, did a really good job handling some of the bizarre looks. There's not a whole lot of preparation. I thought that was nice.
"What you kind of lose is some brain power at receiver. Steve Smith, a four-year guy, a starter, played in a lot of games. Saw every defense. Saw every look. He had learned, by reps, how to get open. And Kevin Boss, same thing, played in a lot of football games. Saw a lot of looks. Knew what he was doing. They're not having to think much out there, they're just reacting. They practiced, they repped, they thought about every situation that might happen. That's what we're trying to build on. It might not always be perfect and smooth. You have to grow with these guys. That's part of being a young football player and in the great game of football, you have new guys come in. You have to let them grow up and you want them to do good things and they are going to do good things. They're also going to make mistakes and you're going to have to live and die with that."
Manning had high praise for starting receivers Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham.
"I think those guys are doing great," Manning said. "I think they've played tremendous. I thought Mario has really played well in the preseason games and he stepped up his understanding of the offense and his role. Played well yesterday, had a chance for a go-route there in a two-minute drive that I think (Antonio) Cromartie pulled his jersey just a little bit and I overthrew him a little bit, combination, but could have had a touchdown. Had a fade we missed on. He had some nice catches, running good routes, very confident. And Hakeem the same thing, he knows what he's doing. Those guys are solid, it's just getting the new guys - Victor Cruz and (Travis) Beckum, getting them mentally caught up. I love the way they compete. I love the way they want to learn. They're in here working and we'll continue to work and be precise in exactly what we need to do."
*Coughlin reiterated the unhappiness he expressed after the Jets game about rookie punt returner Jerrel Jernigan's four fumbles.
"They were really poor," Coughlin said. "On one of them it was poor body position and not being properly aligned on the ball. He was surprised about where the ball was and trying to make a much more difficult catch out of it. It is mechanics and we have worked with that pretty much all training camp and we will continue to work with that. His one return (a 22-yarder) was very nice, though."
Coughlin doesn't want to use Domenik Hixon, who has a surgically-repaired knee, to return punts in the preseason. He also mentioned Aaron Ross as a future candidate, but admitted the player's new status as a starting cornerback, "would certainly be a good reason not to (let him do it)."
Whoever gets the job must understand what Coughlin is looking for.
"The number one criteria is ball security," Coughlin said. "Just catch the ball, that is the number one criteria."
*When D.J. Ware failed to score from the one-yard line on fourth down in the third quarter against the Jets, the running back's disappointment was shared by his offensive linemen.
"When it's fourth and inches like that, no matter what side he calls the play to, you want to make that hole," Beatty said. "As as a unit, we didn't push them off the ball. If we would've had our guys in the back of the end zone, (Ware) should've just walked it in. It's finishing the drive. You want to put that nail in the coffin and we didn't do that. We have to watch the tape and see why."
*Left cornerback Corey Webster lost his running mate on the right side when Terrell Thomas suffered a season-ending knee injury vs. Chicago. But that hasn't changed Webster's outlook on the season.
"I think we are still going out there and doing the same thing," Webster said. "Our goals are the same. We just need guys to step up and (new starter Aaron) Ross has been in that position before. He has been a starter and has been preparing like he was a starter even when he wasn't. My role doesn't change at all. It is just to go out there and help my team win games and get better. That is just what we do."
*Michael Boley, entering his seventh NFL season, was asked which young linebackers have impressed him in the month since training camp opened.
"Spencer Paysinger has come in and worked his way to a pretty good backup role," Boley
said of the rookie free agent from Oregon. "He has down a pretty good job and turned some heads so far this preseason and also (Mark) Herzlich (from Boston College). He has come in and done pretty well also. They are both knowledgeable and came in and picked up the defense right away and stepped in and made some plays."
*Coughlin said linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka has a "mild groin strain."