EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Tom Coughlin broke out into jumping jacks at his morning news conference today.
It's not because the Giants are 5-7, or are preparing to play the Dolphins in Miami on Monday night. No, the head coach had just been asked how Dallas' victory over Washington had changed the emotion in the team's headquarters, which had dropped after losing to the Jets last week.
"Jumping jacks for every meeting like that, that's for sure," Coughlin said. "No, it's exciting. Let's face it, it is exciting. I've said it many times before, we have to take care of our own business, but to be in a circumstance where we're in the hunt is a good and exciting thing. And I think the players realize that."
The Cowboys' triumph created a three-way tie atop the NFC East with the Giants, Philadelphia and Washington all at 5-7. Dallas is 4-8. Four games remain, so the Giants must put the disappointment they've endured up to this point behind them.
"Rearview mirror," Coughlin said. "I've talked an awful lot about improvement on the individual basis. I've talked about deserving the right to win, and that every one of us has to improve in order to raise that level and be deserving of a win. But I've also mentioned that what's in the past is in the past, and we really do have to go forward."
The Dolphins are also 5-7, but their circumstances are far different than they Giants. Miami is in last place in the AFC East, five games behind New England.
*Coughlin said tackle Ereck Flowers (ankle) and linebacker Devon Kennard (hamstring/foot) will not practice today.
When Flowers was injured against the Jets, Justin Pugh moved from left guard to tackle. Coughlin would not commit to that going forward, but said, "that's a good option for us."
• Long-snapper and special teams captain Zak DeOssie, and tight end Larry Donnell were placed on injured reserve this week. DeOssie had played in all 149 regular-season and postseason games since his arrival in 2007. Donnell was fourth on the team with 29 receptions.
"Zak had a ligament in the wrist that had been bothering him," Coughlin said, "and it was determined by the specialist that they thought it should be fixed at this time."
Donnell had not played since hurting his neck at New Orleans on Nov. 1. Coughlin said he believes Donnell will not need surgery.
"Larry is a question of continuously looking at the MRI," Coughlin said. "There's no timetable on the other end of when, in fact, he would be healthy, so therefore, the move was made."
Asked if there's a long-term concern regarding Donnell, Coughlin said, "At this point in time I couldn't answer that. I think they are very optimistic about the healing process, but it does take time."
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