EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Weston Richburg's hiatus from the starting lineup lasted just one week.
Richburg, the Giants' second-round draft choice this year, started the first 10 games of the season at left guard before he was replaced by veteran Adam Snyder for the game last week against Dallas. But Snyder hurt his knee in the game – enabling Richburg to play late in the game – and has been declared out of the Giants' game Sunday in Jacksonville. So Richburg is once again the starter.
"I didn't like (not playing)," Richburg said today. "It felt like preseason again. I just don't like standing there and not being able to help and play. I think that is why every player comes to the NFL, to play. They don't want to be on the sidelines. It was tough, but I was ready and they needed me there at the end, so I was able to get a couple plays in."
Coach Tom Coughlin said Richburg responded "well" to his removal from the first five.
"(He) didn't like it," Coughlin said. "That's a good thing. That shows me he wants to do it. He's competitive as heck and he didn't like it. Maybe we struck a chord there."
They absolutely did.
Keep an eye on these five players as the Giants face the Jaguars on Sunday
"I think motivation can come from all kinds of places," Richburg said. "Sometimes, you have to motivate yourself if there aren't any outside sources. With situations like last week, I was able to take motivation from that and use it as fuel."
But Richburg did more than just get angry. He worked hard in practice so that when he did get back in a game he would be a better player.
"I was a little disappointed last week, but this week I wanted to come out and get better at what I could control and that is playing football," Richburg said. "I just tried to come out and really work on my technique. Just tried to get myself better, so when the time comes I am ready to go back in and play.
"I wanted to focus this week on all the technical parts of it. I can hit and run and all that stuff, but it was footwork. Tightening things up and getting it to where it is a little better fitting into different plays. Tighten up footwork and making sure I am on my landmarks. Those were a couple of things I decided to do this week to try and get better."
The coaching staff expects to see an improved Richburg in Jacksonville.
"Weston Richburg is a young player who is going to continue to grow, continue to get better," offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo said. "He had a good week of practice this week. Hopefully, we struck a nerve and he is going to use it as motivation moving forward."
Richburg will now be part of a Giants line that must slow down a Jacksonville defensive front that is largely responsible for the team's 33 sacks, the third-highest total in the NFL.
"I think I definitely got better at some things this week," Richburg said. "That is what the next week is for, to get better at something that I found."
In addition to Snyder, linebacker Jacquian Williams (concussion) and defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (calf) will not play. Tackle Justin Pugh (quad) and defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka (knee) are questionable. Each practiced on a limited basis today. Beckham (back), linebacker Jameel McClain (knee), cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring) and tackle Geoff Schwartz (toe) are probable. Schwartz was limited in practice.
- Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell today spoke publicly for the first time since the loss to Dallas last week, when the Cowboys drove 80 yards on seven plays to score the winning touchdown with 1:01 left in the game.
"The unit that we put on the field, to be quite honest, we just didn't get the job done," Fewell said. "There were three minutes left in the ballgame; they had a lot of time. It really wasn't a two-minute situation, so to speak, because they could run the ball, they could do whatever they wanted to do with that amount of time left in the game. I think they did run the ball on a third and one in one situation."
Regarding the game-winning 13-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant – when cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was the closest player to the receiver, Fewell said, "There was a double on Dez. There should have been two guys on Dez."
- Odell Beckham Jr. has been voted the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week for Week 12. The Giants' first-round draft choice this year, Beckham caught 10 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns in the Giants' loss to Dallas. He was just the third rookie in NFL history to post those numbers in a single game. One of Beckham's touchdowns was a spectacular 43-yarder when he somehow secured the ball with just his right hand while falling backward
After the regular season, five players will be nominated for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year honors. Fans can vote for the winner on NFL.com/rookies throughout the month of January.
- The Giants lead the series with Jacksonville, 3-2. The home team has won all five games. Coughlin has coached in each of them, leading the Jaguars in 1997, 2000 and 2002 and the Giants in 2006 and 2010. The teams last played on Nov. 28, 2010, when the Giants rallied from a 17-6 halftime deficit to win, 24-20.