EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** The Giants' constantly-changing running backs group could have a new cast member when the team next plays on Nov. 10 vs. Oakland. Andre Brown, who has spent the first eight weeks of the season on injured reserve/designated for return after fracturing his leg in the preseason finale, said today he is ready to play.
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"I'm still looking forward to coming back against the Raiders," Brown said. "I feel great. Great, legs… I'm exploding, cutting, cutting really well and I'm ready to go."
Brown, who has been practicing, needs to prove to Tom Coughlin he is fit enough to contribute. And Coughlin today would not commit to playing Brown against the Raiders.
"I'm going to have to wait and see," Coughlin said. "This will be a good week for him. He's going to continue to be here. To rehab, to work out, condition. I've been impressed with this last couple of weeks, and I'm looking forward to see where he is next week."
Brown was an important contributor last season, when he rushed for 385 yards and a team-high eight touchdowns. But he suffered a fractured fibula on Nov. 25 and was sidelined for the remainder of the season. Brown hurt the same leg at New England on Aug. 29.
"It's just a freak accident," Brown said. "I got hit right there where the plate was. It just was a freak accident. Now I have a shin guard. I guess I'll be wearing that for the rest of my career."
The Giants' running backs have been unable to stay healthy this season. David Wilson started four of the first five games, but has been inactive for the last three because of a neck injury. Da'Rel Scott was released and brought back when Wilson went down but pulled his hamstring in Chicago and was let go. Brandon Jacobs ran for 106 yards vs. the Bears but has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. He said he will be ready to face the Raiders. Peyton Hillis was signed two weeks ago, started vs. Minnesota and has rushed for 106 yards in two games. Rookie Michael Cox became the Giants' fifth starting running back in the team's 15-7 victory yesterday in Philadelphia.
"As a running back, we know there are going to be injuries," Brown said. "That's why we carry four guys. With us struggling like that, it was very difficult to watch. But we're a bunch of fighters, we're going to go out there and continue to fight and continue to win."
Brown just hopes he can be part of that effort.
The Giants players were at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center Monday before starting their bye week. They will return next Monday.
"The priority is getting them rested and healthy," Coughlin said. "That's what is going to happen here.
"The theme was, yes, this is the time for a break and there's no question they need that. But while we're having this rest and downtime get us healthy as we possibly can and come back with that great energy."
Coughlin said the coaches will do some self-scouting during the bye week.
"That's what we do," he said. "We'll be into that heavily and when the players come back, that's the first thing they'll be offered in the meeting, which will be a worst to best evaluation of where we are."