Ahmad Bradshaw had an unusual answer when asked today which of his feet got stepped on last week in San Francisco.
"I don't know," Bradshaw said.
That was, of course, his way of saying he didn't care to reveal that information. Not that it really matters which foot it is. Bradshaw is not going to let a sore foot keep him out of the Giants' home game Sunday vs. the Washington Redskins.
"I feel good," Bradshaw said. "There's no setback and I'm ready to go."
Bradshaw was officially limited in practice today, but coach Tom Coughlin said he expects the six-year veteran to assume a full workload on Sunday. In the last two weeks, Bradshaw had 57 carries for 316 yards.
Bradshaw has played through numerous foot and ankle injuries in recent seasons. He's undergone several surgeries and has been limited to one practice a week for long stretches of time. But far more often than not, he's been ready on game day.
How does he do it?
"It's toughness, it's just toughness," Bradshaw said. "I feel like I can fight through a little bit of everything now with the stuff I've been through. I just feel like it's going to take a lot to bring me down. So a lot of hits here and there, it ain't going to do it."
"He was always tough," offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. "I think we had to see how it would translate at this level and would it be a one-time, one-game, one-year deal, or would it be something that is characteristic of him, and I think it is. I think it's a saline feature that is obvious when you're around the guy. I think he's different in that aspect. I don't think you can play the position unless you're physically tough. I don't think there's a running back that can play it well if you're not physically tough, but I still think he has raised the level of the bar, so to speak. You have to appreciate what he brings to the table. Not only do we as coaches, I think his teammates appreciate it as well."
Asked where his toughness originates, Bradshaw said, "Just from the heart, the love of the game. Just growing up that way."
Because of his tenaciousness, Bradshaw said he's ready to carry the ball 30 times again, if necessary.
"I'm always up for it," he said. "I take pride in it. Anytime I can try to carry this team as much as I can, I'll do it. If they want to put it on my back, I'll take it."
*Defensive tackle Chris Canty seems to be inching closer to making his season debut on Sunday.
"He actually practiced well yesterday and today," Coughlin said. "He's in very good condition."
Canty has been on the reserve/physically unable to perform list since training camp began.
Does Canty have to convince Coughlin that he's ready to play?
"He's been very good about it, very professional about it," Coughlin said. "He's gone about his business and hasn't said much at all.
"He's in very good shape. There was no swelling, there was nothing. Hopefully, that's the way it will stay. The biggest challenge is you are not in training camp. You can't give the young man a training camp, you don't have one. He's got a week of practice, which is three hard days, but that's it."
*Offensive tackle David Diehl returned to action last week after missing three games with a knee injury. But he played as an extra tight end, not at right tackle, where he started before suffering the injury.
"It's a continuous operation," Coughlin said. "He's getting more time practicing and feeling better about it. We'll see how it goes."
The Giants have rushed for 391 yards in the last two games and given up no sacks in the last three, so Coughlin isn't eager to tinker with what's worked up front.
"That's certainly part of it," Coughlin said. "We're trying to get the people that have been injured back to full health."
*Wide receiver Nicks was limited in practice, but he did work for the second day in a row, a rarity this season because of foot and knee issues.
"He wants to be out here, he wants to work," Coughlin said. "He understands how important it is to him. We're watching that closely. Yesterday, he worked, and he felt good."
"He's getting better," Gilbride said. "Unfortunately, it's a lengthy process getting back to where he was. He is definitely better this week than he was the week before. You're encouraged by seeing him do some things maybe he couldn't have done last week. It's a matter of just continuing to see that growth and return to where he was before he was injured."
*In addition to Bradshaw, two players practiced today after sitting out yesterday's workout: linebacker Michael Boley (hip) and cornerback Corey Webster (hand/hamstring). They were limited.
Four players missed practice and are not expected to play Sunday: defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (quadriceps), safety Kenny Phillips (knee), running back Da'Rel Scott (knee) and linebacker Jacquian Williams (knee).
Running back Andre Brown (concussion) practiced fully.