Injuries Mar Giants Victory

BALTIMORE – The least of Tom Coughlin's concerns in Baltimore was New York's 13-12 victory.

Big Blue suffered several injuries as Will Demps dislocated his elbow and Michael Jennings ruptured his Achilles'. While there was no immediate word on how long Demps would be sidelined, he said he had the same injury six years ago and that it only took two weeks to recover.

"I'm hoping he's right," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said.

As for Jennings, his season is over before it even began. He injured himself without even being hit as he twisted wrong running a pass pattern.

"I ran an out cut and on the fourth step when I planted my Achilles' popped," Jennings said. "I knew right away. I heard a pop noise. I'm just happy I caught the ball."

"I feel bad for Michael," Coughlin said. "He really was improved and has been playing well. That's a big loss."

As if that weren't enough, Sam Madison, who was having a big game, suffered a pulled hamstring and rookie receiver Steve Smith left the game with a concussion suffered after he caught a touchdown pass. In the second half, reserve guard Grey Ruegamer sprained his right ankle.

Defensive leader Antonio Pierce was pleased with the increased defensive effort, a week after the Giants were shredded by Carolina.

"We came out with a little bit more intensity, a little bit more focus and a little bit more of what we have to do after the week we had last week," he said. "Guys came out with a different mindset and I think it showed."

"As a group our leadership stepped up," Barry Cofield added. "We just said we're not going to let that happen again."

Madison turned in the biggest defensive play of the first quarter. He picked off a deep pass from Steve McNair that was intended for Demetrius Williams and had a long return that was reduced to only a 14-yard gain due to a holding call on Gibril Wilson. Madison later made a nice tackle on Clarence Moore to stop him just shy of the marker on third down.

Led by Cofield's penetration, New York's defense rose up and stuffed McNair on a fourth-and-one sneak attempt at the Giants 20-yard line. However, Manning gave it right back on the next play, fumbling the ball away without even being hit, and giving the Ravens the ball on New York's 12. That set up the first points of the game, Matt Stover's 33-yard field goal.

But Manning rebounded and atoned for his mistake. He led the offense 80 yards in eight plays and capped the march with a 10-yard scoring strike to Smith. That gave New York a 7-6 lead, which they took into halftime. Manning finished the game 10-of-13 for 114 yards and the one TD.

"He's played well," Coughlin said. "He's rated high and got us a touchdown each week."

"We did a pretty good job on offense," Manning said. "We put together some decent drives and moved the ball."

Jared Lorenzen, behind a basically inept second-team offensive line, was unable to mount any kind of aerial attack. He finished four-of-eight for 34 yards.

Josh Huston drilled a 50-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, and Ahmad Bradshaw helped seal the deal by ripping off a 43-yard run that set up another Huston FG.

Notes

The latest buzz out of the Baltimore press box is that Michael Strahan will end his training camp holdout and return to the Giants sometime shortly before the Jets game. We originally reported it would be just after New York's third preseason contest on Aug. 25, but it sounds as if Strahan is getting itchy and could possibly come back a little bit sooner…

Amani Toomer returned to game action for the first time since last Nov. 5. He finished with a 15-yard catch in 12 snaps. He said he was happy to be back in action.

"It felt good to get back out there," Toomer said.

"I feel like I got a lot of confidence from this game. I've definitely got a lot to work on, but I feel like I'm close. I'm definitely on my way back. It keeps getting better and better."…

Mathias Kiwanuka started his second ever game as a linebacker in strong fashion. On the game's first play, he fought off Todd Heap and dropped Willis McGahee for a five-yard loss...

Newly-signed DT Manny Wright showed a flash, bursting through the line and dropping Ravens RB Cory Ross for a loss of two…

Statistical leaders included Bradshaw with 70 rushing yards on only seven carries, WR Anthony Mix (five catches, 43 yards), and Pierce, who had six tackles…

Plaxico Burress missed his second consecutive preseason contest. Burress sprained his right ankle going up for a pass on Aug. 2. He tried to practice on Aug. 15, but only went through some individual drills before yanking himself out of action.

"We tried to get a day out of him," Coughlin said at the time. "He started with his group and then all of a sudden he felt like he wasn't ready and couldn't go."…

The rest of New York's injury report was DB Michael Stone, LB Gerris Wilkinson, DE Charrod Taylor, WR Sinorice Moss, WR Marco Thomas and LS Ryan Kuehl.
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