Injuries are, of course, the thing you fear most during preseason games. The Giants were hit hard during last night's 13-12 victory over Baltimore, watching four players go down with significant injuries.
The worst was to Michael Jennings, who had caught three passes and seemed to have wrapped up a spot as one of the Giants extra wide receivers. On his third catch, he tore an achilles tendon, and is done for the year.
Safety Will Demps dislocated his elbow. Demps, trying to rebound from a disappointing 2006, had been playing well. I'll keep an eye open for reports on how long he will be out.
Starting cornerback Sam Madison pulled a hamstring, and rookie wide receiver Steve Smith suffered a concussion.
You have to feel awful for Jennings. He made the team last year and caught just five passes in limited duty. This year he had played himself into position to keep his job.
The injuries to Jennings and Smith depleted the Giants receiving corps, especially since Plaxico Burress and Sinorice Moss did not play.
On the bright side, the injuries did open up an opportunity for Anthony Mix, and the 6-foot-5 rookie from Auburn took advantage. He caught five passes for 43 yards and may have played his way onto the regular-season roster.
Here are some other observations from Sunday's game.
• Lots of talk during the game about Michael Strahan. Seems a Strahan decision could come any day now. GM Jerry Reese even did a sideline interview with Andrea Kramer in which he said he has talked to Strahan's agent, but hasn't spoken directly to the star defensive end in weeks.
Oh, and I need to digress for a minute to offer Jerry some wardrobe advice. Dude, when you go on national television either button both buttons on your suit coat or leave it unbuttoned entirely. That whole 'only button the top button' thing you had going on with that ugly-looking tie sticking out the bottom was not impressive.
Now, back to football.
• The Giants run defense was much better. I thought Mathias Kiwanuka played well, as did the defensive tackles. Monstrous Manny Wright even got in the game late and made a couple of tackles, including one for a loss.
• Ahmad Bradshaw has to make this team. Seventy yards on 7 carries, including a 43-yard run in which he just ran away from a couple of defensive backs, and a 29-yard kickoff return showcased his playmaking ability.
• It's obvious that Jared Lorenzen is the backup QB. He replaced Manning in the second quarter and played into the fourth, going 4-for-8 for 34 yards. Tim Hasselbeck (1-for-4, 11 yards) didn't help himself in his effort to beat out Anthony Wright for the last QB spot.
• Josh Huston belongs in the NFL. Huston pretty much threw down the gauntlet last night in his competition with Lawrence Tynes for the placekicking job. He nailed his first field-goal attempt of the pre-season, a not-so-easy 50-yarder, and also connected from 30 yards. In addition, he did put one kickoff into the end zone.