On a morning that emulated the coming autumn, the Giants took the practice field in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals for the last time. Steve Weatherford, who has a focus of injury reports this week, punted approximately 25 times, to test the ligaments in his left ankle, and gauge the pain tolerance tomorrow morning to provide the Giants with the information they need to determine if a replacement punter will be needed.
The punter were his usual booming efforts, which should come as no surprise, and Weatherford said his ankle felt find afterward, but how it feels when he wakes up in the morning will be the true test. Placekicker Josh Brown also practiced a few punts, but the Giants held tryouts with free agent punters to be prepared in case Weatherford in unable to play in Sunday’s game.
Among the punters reported to be in the tryout are former Buffalo Bill Brian Moorman, former New England Patriot Zoltan Mesko, and former Texan Chris Boswell. Also given a tryout was 2014 New York Jet draft 6th round pick quarterback Tajh Boyd.
Boyd is thought to be under consideration for a spot on the practice squad to run mobile quarterback scenarios when the Giants face Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, and Colin Kaepernick in upcoming games. His tryout will reportedly continue tomorrow.
The referee for Sunday’s game will be John Parry. His crew officiated the Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks season opening game on September 4th. Parry’s crew was among those calling the fewest penalties in week 1 games. The mark of a good officiating crew is one that calls blatant penalties, but not those that don’t effect the play, and aren’t constantly throwing flags that disrupt the flow of the game.
The Giants released the injury report for Sunday, Odell Beckham (hamstring) is out, as is James Brewer (back), Devon Kennard (hamstring), and Markus Kuhn (ankle). Weatherford (ankle) is questionable. Jon Beason (foot) who practiced on a limited basis today, is probable, as are Cullen Jenkins (hip), Charles Brown (shoulder) and Jason Pierre-Paul (neck).
For the Cardinals, linebacker Alex Okafor (thigh) and defensive tackle Frostee Rucker (calf) are out. Quarterback Carson Palmer (shoulder), running back Andre Ellington (foot), and punter Dave Zastudil (groin) are questionable. Guard Paul Fanaika (knee), safety Rashad Johnson (ankle), and safety Tyrann “Homey Badger” Mattheiu all practiced fully today and are probable. If Palmer is unable to play, Drew Stanton is the backup.
With the NFL and NFLPA set to agree on wide ranging revisions of the performance enhancing and substance abuse policies today, some have questioned the Giants releasing of safety Will Hill, subsequently signed by the Baltimore Ravens. As this was this third violation in three seasons, and his violation was not called into questions as those of Josh Gordon and Wes Welker have been recently, the Giants were correct in their swift and decisive release of the talented, but troubled Hill. Drugs are obviously more important to him than football, and that’s not the attitude or culture wanted in the New York Giants facilities. Hill’s six game suspension will not be subject to reduction under the policy revisions.
One of the better provisions of the new policy is the tightening of the confidentiality agreement. Currently, when a player is suspended, the league is prohibited from revealing the reason. The player, or most often, his agent, releases propaganda regarding the “legitimate” reasons that the player tested positive. Fertility drugs, second hand smoke, failure to get legal but NFL banned prescription drugs approved, or my personal favorite, Wes Welker’s Kramerian amphetamine spiked molly are routinely spewed forth with the believability of a politician on the eve of election day. If profootballtalk.com is accurate, and the site usually is, any player, agent, or team, league or union employee that reveals information is subject to a fine of up to $500,000 and termination. If hopefully ends the charade where no player ever gets caught taking something illegal or designed to give him a competitive edge. Take your punishment, learn from it, and move on.
Look for 360 Pick Week 2 tomorrow, and the keys to victory on early Sunday morning before I leave for section 121, row 42 at Metlife.
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