Giants’ Manning gets 12 stitches in head (AP)

Aug 17th, 2010 | By sportsnews | Category: Sports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)—Eli Manning(notes) gave the New York Giants a scare, and
an unnecessary one at that.

The quarterback was knocked out of the Giants’ 31-16 preseason victory over
the New York Jets on Monday night when he changed a play in the second quarter
without telling anyone and suffered a bloody three-inch gash to the left side of
his temple that required 12 stitches to close.

The Giants medical staff found no signs of a concussion, but it wasn’t
immediately certain whether Manning will play Saturday night against the
Pittsburgh Steelers.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin expected a more complete medical report on

However, he tended to brush off the injury that overshadowed a spectacular
three-touchdown, second-half performance by Giants free agent wide receiver
Victor Cruz(notes). The Paterson native finished with six catches for 145 yards.

“The first thing we’ll do is make sure that there is no swelling,”
Coughlin said of Manning. “If there’s no swelling then I think we’ll be able to
go ahead and get the helmet on and practice.”

Manning took the blame for his injury.

“We had a run play with an option to throw a fade that I thought I might
try, but Brandon (Jacobs) was coming right up the middle. Sometimes you make a
mistake and you get hit in the head. It’s preseason, you learn from it.”

Manning said he will be back soon, adding he didn’t really sustain an

“I really feel like I could go back out and play right now if I had to,”
he said.

The star of the night was Cruz, the University of Massachusetts product who
also had a great week at training camp last week, catching several deep balls.

“Justice has been served,” Coughlin said. “A young man, Victor Cruz,
really has had an outstanding camp. He has worked his tail off every day, he’s
made a lot of plays this past week. The writers who were following practice have
asked and kind of smiled when we mention Victor Cruz and he was truly

Cruz caught touchdown passes of 64 and 34 yards from Jim Sorgi(notes) and iced the
game with a 5-yard TD catch from Rhett Bomar(notes) with 2:24 to go. Cruz jumped around
cornerback Dwight Lowery(notes) and made a one-handed catch on his long TD.

“It’s a crazy feeling just to be at home, and to put up a performance like
this is just really great,” Cruz said. “It is just so surreal right now. My
heart is beating so fast right now.”

The performance caught the Jets totally off guard.

“I don’t even know who No. 3 is, but he looked like Randy Moss(notes) out there
with those three touchdowns,” Jets linebacker Bart Scott(notes) said.

Mark Sanchez(notes) led the Jets on three scoring drives, overcoming an
interception by Antrel Rolle(notes) on his first pass, and played the entire first half
in the first football game at the New Meadowlands Stadium.

“Based on the way we moved the ball up and down the field, aside from the
interception on the first pass,” Sanchez said, “I was happy with my

The teams traditionally meet in the third game of the preseason, but both
wanted to be part of the unveiling of their new $1.6 billion, 82,500-seat home
that they share.

Both teams struggled at times. The Giants had troubles early on offense, and
the Jets’ second and third units were poor.

The play everyone will remember is the third-down miscue at the Jets 5 that
left Manning gushing blood from his head.

Coughlin had called a run up the middle to Jacobs. Manning decided to throw
a fade to big receiver Ramses Barden(notes) in the corner of the end zone. The problem
was he never called the ‘alert’ to let the offense know of the change.

Expecting a handoff, Jacobs ran into Manning with his shoulder. The force of
the collision knocked the ball out of the quarterback’s hands and into the air.

As Manning reached to catch it, Jets linebacker Calvin Pace(notes) slammed him in
the middle of his back, knocking his helmet off and pushing him face first
forward. Manning’s head slammed into either Jets safety Jim Leonhard(notes) or Jacobs,
who were standing next to each other.

Manning immediately fell to the turf and put his hand to his head. He
quickly motioned to the training staff for help once he saw his hand covered in

Replays showed blood pouring from Manning’s head shortly after he fell to
the ground.

Jacobs called the play a miscommunication.

“We had a call and he wanted to change it and do it on the run,” said
Jacobs, who recovered the fumble. “It ended up not working out. It was a
communication issue on both of our parts. Eli will be fine.”

Giants center Shaun O’Hara(notes) said seeing Manning bleeding profusely was scary.

“When you see a quarterback bleeding like that, it was something out of a
Friday The 13th Movie,” O’Hara said. “Now we know it’s pretty much a
laceration. I think, hopefully, it will make him look a little tougher.”

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