Morning, everyone. Hope you're not drowning in this cesspool of Mark Sanchez and Mike Vick rumors!
I'm somewhat surprised we haven't seen any "Hey, Giants fans, be happy you have Eli" columns this week. Or perhaps I've just graciously overlooked them. Either way, let's remain grateful even in the wake of last Sunday's shellacking at the hands of the Falcons.
This morning's links:
Naturally, Eli reached out. It'd be interesting to hear what Peyton had to say about this iteration of the Ravens, as he just dismantled them, 34-17, on Sunday. The elder Manning went 17-of-28 for 204 yards and a touchdown against Baltimore's 22nd-ranked passing defense that is allowing 242.1 passing yards per game.
This really isn't news, considering Eli and Peyton chat before games against many of their shared opponents. Eli called Peyton before playing the Bengals -- that went well -- as they played the Broncos and Giants in consecutive weeks. Eli and Peyton are also brothers, so I imagine they call each other once in a while. Fun stuff.
On to the real news. Both Phillips and Bradshaw have said they will play this weekend despite their sprained knees, but only Phillips is practicing. The Giants' safety was limited in Wednesday's practice, his first in two weeks, though head coach Tom Coughlin said he was "rested and ready to contribute." As Jorge Castillo points out, that's good news because it allows the Giants, among other things, to utilize their three-safety alignment with Phillips, Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown.
Bradshaw, meanwhile, will be held within the reigns of the medical staff. Coughlin insisted Bradshaw won't have the say in whether he plays on Sunday, despite his comments on Monday regarding how things would've been different vs. the Falcons if he had played.
Of course, Jim Harbaugh didn't reveal much injury information. But Ray Lewis did work on Wednesday, and he could be cleared to return vs. the Giants on Sunday. Lewis has been sidelined with a torn right triceps, though he has been practicing for the past couple of weeks.
Here's some injury info on the Ravens. As Tom Pedulla details, Baltimore has placed 11 players on injured reserve this season. Safety Ed Reed and cornerback Cary Williams are the only members of the defense who have started all 14 games this season. The Ravens are also riding a three-game losing streak, their longest since 2009. As the article points out, two of those losses have come against backup quarterbacks in the Steelers' Charlie Batch and the Redskins' Kirk Cousins.
You've probably heard about this by now, but it's nevertheless hard to get tired of hearing. As promised, Cruz went to Newton, Conn., and visited with the family of 6-year-old Jack Pinto, one of the 20 children killed in last Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Cruz said he "didn't want to go in there and make a speech or anything," so he handed out some of his gloves and cleats to Jack's brother, Ben, before spending the day playing Madden with members of the local Pop Warner team and talking with the Pinto family.
Cruz expressed his desire to meet the family after he learned about Jack's affection for him on Twitter, and even though you believed Cruz would indeed follow through, it's fantastic to hear how it happened. Hopefully, his visit was able to brighten the lives of the Pinto family for a few hours.