Eli Manning says injury not affecting play
By BARRY WILNER, AP Football Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Despite the New York Giants' recent slump and his own mediocre performances, quarterback Eli Manning says a stress reaction in his right foot is not affecting his play.
Manning developed the injury while dealing with another problem on the bottom of his foot during a win Oct. 4 at Kansas City. The Giants were 4-0 after that victory, but are now 6-5 as Manning has struggled in recent weeks, even though his inflamed arch has healed.
On Monday, he said his latest health issue has not been a factor on the field.
"In the games it doesn't bother me and I don't think about it. This is not something I am overly concerned with," Manning said. "It has been the same for probably the last three to four weeks, it's nothing new. I can go out and practice and do all I need to do."
Manning doesn't believe he would eventually need surgery on his foot.
"It's one of those things that time and rest is probably the biggest thing," he said. "Having the weekend and the bye week and off week helped some. Time to rest it is helpful. It is not something I think will linger or bother me."
Manning also said he has no pain when walking and there are no concerns that the stress reaction can lead to him being sidelined for any of the remaining five games.
"It is frustrating, kind of one thing leading to another. When you have to go to the training room and get treatment, it throws your schedule out of whack. It kind of pushes things back. I am a guy who doesn't like to be in a training room. That's been probably the biggest annoyance trying to deal with it."
The Giants play Dallas (8-3), Philadelphia (7-4) and Washington (3-7) in the next three weeks and pretty much need a sweep of those games for any chance to the win the NFC East. They beat the Cowboys in Week 2, their most impressive victory of the year, and also won the season opener against Washington. New York lost to Philadelphia 40-17 a month ago in perhaps its worst game of the season.
Right now, the Eagles and Packers lead the wild-card race by one game over the Giants and Falcons. Atlanta has lost to New York, so the Giants have the edge there.
"There's got to be a sense of urgency," Manning said. "We don't have time to kind of figure out and slowly become a better team and make strides. We've got to make a jump, a jump back to playing good football.
"Sometimes you will falter, and we have a lot. But we are still capable of beating teams and playing at a high level."
Manning and defensive end Justin Tuck said the players have held a few meetings during the season, but not since they lost at Denver 26-6 on Thanksgiving night. Tuck noted such meetings are "valuable when it works. Obviously we didn't (get results) because we lost a few games here."
Manning recognizes that the message among teammates needs to be the same, meetings or not.
"Stick with each other," he said. "We know we have lot of people doubting us now and there are probably reasons for them to. If we want to pull this out and make a run ... it's about the players coming together and trusting each other and going out there and doing it."