When Justin Pugh left the New York Giants' 16-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers with a strained quad, head coach Tom Coughlin was miffed. Turns out that Pugh had originally suffered the quad injury last week against the Seattle Seahawks but there was no indication during the week that the second-year tackle would have any difficulty getting through the game.
"Pugh practiced all week - that was the shocker. The kid worked his tail off in practice; I don't think he ever missed a snap," Coughlin said. "Then, real early in the game ... had we had some idea that it was that big of an issue, we would've been able to control the snaps."
Without Pugh, former New Orleans Saints tackle Charles Brown was forced into action. The game marked the fifth-year veteran's first action of the regular season, and things like this happened to Manning with Brown in the game:
Manning was sacked twice, hit seven other times by San Francisco rushers and looked uncomfortable in the pocket most of the game with 49ers defenders buzzing around him. The blame for the pressure doesn't solely go to Brown, but lack of comfort in the pocket had to be part of the reason for Manning's five-interception performance.
The Giants obviously never thought Pugh's quad would be an issue. Not only did he practice fully all week, but he was never listed on the injury report.