[UPDATE: Steve Weatherford punted during the media portion of practice Friday (after yours truly predicted he would punt privately) and most reports were good. Full injury report coming later]
LB Jon Beason back practicing and Steve Weatherford looked good booming punts. #giants— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) September 12, 2014
Less than four days after shredding his left ankle when he was roughed by Jerome Couplin of the Detroit Lions punter Steve Weatherford will test his ankle to see if he can possibly punt for the New York Giants when they face the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
"We're going to go out there and test it tomorrow and see if it's going to be good enough for me to be able to help the team on Sunday," Weatherford said on Thursday. "If it's not, I'm not going to try to be a hero, because most importantly, it's having somebody out there that's going to be able to change field position and help the New York Giants. I'm not here to prove a point on how tough I am. I want to help this team and if I'm not able to do that, well I think I'll tell them that. I'm optimistic and hopeful that I'll be out there."
Weatherford, according to reports, tore four ligaments in his ankle when he got his foot pinned underneath Couplin late in the first quarter on Monday. He did finish the game, punting twice more and holding for placekicker Josh Brown.
"The inflammation has gone down a little bit," Weatherford said. "There's still quite a bit in there, but considering the damage that was done less than 2½ days ago, I feel amazing. I don't feel 100 percent, but like I said, it's only been less than 72 hours since I sustained the injury, so that's encouraging. I think typically when something like that happens, you're in a boot for a few weeks. So the fact that I'm able to walk around without that is encouraging to this training staff. They've been working their butts off. I can't ask for a better training staff than what I have here."
If Weatherford can't punt Sunday the Giants might turn to placekicker Josh Brown as an emergency replacement. Brown has punted five times in his NFL career, but hasn't done so since 2008. The Giants could, of course, bring in another punter. That, however, would require dropping someone from the 53-man roster. Backup quarterback Ryan Nassib would be the holder for placekicks.
Personally, I can't imagine how Weatherford is going to be able to punt this weekend. It is a different injury, but I have suffered a pair of torn Achilles tendons so I know a bit about not being able to put pressure on your foot. I have no idea how Weatherford is going to be able to plant that left foot in the MetLife Stadium Field Turf and push off with enough force to punt the ball adequately. Not to mention the question of what happens if he gets a poor snap from Zak DeOssie or -- God forbid -- has to try to make a tackle.
If there is a punter who can do this, though, it is Weatherford, who admits he is "cut from a different cloth."
We will find out later today whether or not the Giants and Weatherford believe he can perform on Sunday. As a side note, my guess is we won't find out anything until after the Giants practice. Media is allowed to watch the first 30 minutes of practice. I doubt the Giants will have Weatherford try to punt until after media members are gone from the practice field.