Justin Pugh feels optimistic about his chances of playing Sunday versus Dallas after sustaining a quad injury early in the game versus San Francisco. He would not say anything definitive as to his status however until getting the go-ahead from the coaching staff.
“That is something I am going to have to talk to coach about and make sure we are on the same page,” Pugh said of his status for next week. “I don’t want to say anything without speaking to him, so everything in regards to injury will come from coach.”
The 2013 1st round pick went down on the first play of the offense’s second drive, and while he hasn’t played his best of late still had his lack of presence felt as fill-in tackle Charles Brown struggled mightily. The injury Pugh sustained was actually an aggravation of an injury he picked up during pre-game in Seattle, unbeknownst to many.
“It was just something in pre-game,” Pugh said of the incident in Seattle. “It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, it was a misstep on a pre-game warmup, I tweaked it, we wrapped it up, I played. Everyone is playing hurt at this time. So you have to go out there and you’ve got fight through that stuff, and it is something I want to continue to do. I’ve got to get healthy and get back out there.”
Pugh’s intent on playing through injury is a good sign of the young player’s toughness and is sure to win some points with head coach Tom Coughlin, but if he does have to sit for a game or two the Giants may have to consider some shuffling along the line. Charles Brown, the former Saints 1st round pick, continued where he left off in the preseason by struggling mightily filling in for Pugh and the Giants could even opt to play the versatile prized signing Geoff Schwartz at right tackle following his activation this Monday. The ideal of course though would be to have Schwartz reinforce the middle of the line at his more comfortable guard position and provide a push in the run game that has been lacking for most of the season.
“Having another great player out there is a huge for us,” Pugh said of Schwartz. “It brings competition, competition makes everyone better, and keeps everyone motivated. To have one of those guys you brought in to be a leader and a starter, it is good to get those guys back.”
If things work out for the Giants, both Pugh and Schwartz will be available for Sunday and the team can finally put out the best five linemen they have on the roster for the first time this season.