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LB Mathias Kiwanuka eyes opener


Mathias Kiwanuka joined Prince Amukamara as defensive starters who were injured in the Giants' 20-17 preseason loss to the Chicago Bears. But the strongside linebacker's groin injury seems less severe than the cornerback's moderate high ankle sprain.

"He's sore," coach Tom Coughlin said of Kiwanuka on a conference call today. "He's had a similar injury to this in the past. Hopefully, it's not going to be too long. I don't know what his status is going to be for this game that's coming so quickly. We would project for the opener and get this under control."

The Giants conclude their preseason schedule Wednesday night vs. New England and begin the regular season a week later by hosting the Dallas Cowboys.

Kiwanuka was injured on the final play of the first half, a one-yard run by the Bears' Matt Forte.

"I was on the ground, and somebody fell on top of me," Kiwanuka said. "Legs aren't made to go that way, so it was a 'side swipe' or whatever you want to call it. It shouldn't be too serious.

"I'll just take a couple of days off, rest it, rehab it, whatever they have scheduled. I actually just told them to look up what they did last time with it, and go from there. I have a timetable, but I do not anticipate being more than a week, week and a half, something like that."

Asked about his availability for the Dallas game, Kiwanuka said, "I'll be ready."

Coughlin had mixed news regarding several injured players who did not suit up for the Chicago game, including left tackle Will Beatty, who has yet to play in the preseason because of back issues.

"He's had four good days in a row," Coughlin said. "They feel pretty good about his strength, the direction he's headed in. He'll probably get some individual time early in this week to see where he is, and hopefully he can tolerate that, and we can increase the workload."

Starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw missed the Chicago game with a hand injury suffered the previous week against the Jets.

"His hand is definitely improving, not as fast as he would like," Coughlin said. "We'll have to see where he's at as we get started this week."

Defensive tackle Marvin Austin continues to be sidelined with a back injury.

"He was doing well, and then he had a little setback," Coughlin said.

*Coughlin was pleased with the play of wide receiver Ramses Barden, who caught three passes for 46 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown.

"I liked the way he defined his routes, and the utilization of his hands, and the position of his hands, to make a really nice catch on a low ball, to make a really nice catch on a high ball," Coughlin said. "He secured the ball, put it away, drew a penalty which put the ball down to the one-yard line. He was also involved in two special teams, which he's done a pretty good job with the kickoff team, and the punt return team. He contributed last night and made a strong statement."

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