Injuries:

The bye week did wonders for Kiwanuka, who says he’s feeling about as good as he’s going to.

“There’s a little bit [of pain there], but I’ve played with far worse injuries than this.

Manningham, whom the coaching staff seems to have wanted to supplant Moss as the fourth receiver this week (and fifth receiver when Plax gets back), picked up a narsty stomach flu and returned to practice just today.  It remains to be seen who will get those snaps during the game.

Either way, the whole thing doesn’t bode well for Moss.  The guy seems to be on his way out of town, barring some bad injuries at receiver this year.

R.W. (calf) is back to practicing in full.  Jerome McDougle (knee) was limited on Wednesday, but expects to play Sunday.

The Pass Rush:

A very interesting article by Mike Garafolo of the Star-Ledger the other day. Although the Giants’ total of 13 sacks gives them the league-lead in sacks per game, their quarterback “hurries” are down substantially from last year.  The G-Men have 18 total hurries this year, a far cry from last year, when they averaged 15 per game.

These numbers, taken with the good job the Bengals did picking up the blitz last week, have led to discussion that the league is catching onto Spagnuolo’s schemes.

When asked if this year’s pass rush was on the same level as last year’s, Spanuolo himself said:

“No, probably not.  Some of that credit belongs to the offenses.  And the other thing…is that there’s a lot of film on our defense out there and there are some smart offensive coaches.  There start to pick up a little things and we have to be a little bit of a step ahead of that.”

The G-Men think they might have been tipping their blitzes last Sunday.

Said Barry Cofield, “We definitely felt like we picked up on some things.  Coach Spags presented them to us and we all agreed that that could be the case.  We’re definitely going to try to do a better job of disguising.”

And Tuck said: “When you get to go back and look at film from the view of your opponent, you’re going to see some things where you are kind of tipping your hand.  We got to him early; they made some adjustments.  The things we got home with early, they did a good job of picking them up [later in the game].”

Plax:

The details emerging after Plax’ suspension have been pretty disconcerting.

First, we heard that he had two restraining orders taken out on him this summer by his wife, though we don’t know whether this has anything to do with what happened last Monday.  We have no more information other than that it was a family situation that Plax felt was an emergency at the time.

Then, there was this article by Jay Glazer of FoxSports that Plax has been fined staggering 40-50 times during his Giants career.  So maybe this incident represents more than just a one-time relapse into immaturity.

Ralph Vacchiano, the Daily News beat writer, shed some light on Plax in his live chat with Giants fans on Tuesday:

I don’t think Burress and Coughlin have ever really gotten along.  They’ve peacefully coexisted more than anything else.  I remember talking to Burress a year or so ago and he said that he used to break Coughlin’s rules just for the heck of it, just to see what he could get away with.  That’s not exactly the mark of a good team player.  But Burress insisted he had changed.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case.  When he missed that meeting that led to his suspension, his teammates said that him missing a meeting wasn’t unusual at all.  I’ve also heard that he’s been fined dozens of times over the years.  I don’t think any of that is the result of, or will result in, strong negative feelings towards the Giants.  Hell, the Giants just enabled him with a five-year, $35 million deal.  I just think he’s Plaxico being Plaxico.  He just doesn’t care about fines and rules.  He does what he wants and he shows up on Sunday, gets his money, and that’s all that matters to him.  I’d bet anything that when he comes back from his suspension, he accepts responsibility but says that he’d do it again because whatever his reason was meant more to him than missing a game.  And I think the Giants knew this was the way Burress was.  If you want to get his remarkable talent (and I think he’s one of the top three receivers in the NFL) then you have to accept the rest.

Ok…  I have to say this was pretty disappointing to read.  I was under the impression that Plax had transformed and grown out his pain-in-the-ass-ness.  I guess that’s not the case.

But if I understand Vacchiano correctly here, it’s really not that big of a problem.  Plax and Coughlin “peacefully coexist,” and the new contract Plax just signed would seem to indicate that theirs is a tenable, if not ideal, relationship.  But will this suspension imperil it?  Hopefully not.

Punt Returns:

This kind of got lost in the shuffle, but now that R.W. is healthy, he has been seen returning some punts in practice, along with Bradshaw.

When Colonel Tom was asked whether Hixon may not return punts this week because he’s starting at split end, he replied, “We will see about that.”

This is stupid.  Hixon is by far our best punt returner (and kick returner); there’s no reason he shouldn’t handle both those responsibilities.

The Kicker Situation:

Conflicting takes from the beat reporters here: Mike Garafolo of the Star-Ledger says his knee has been swelling up and likely won’t play, while Vacchiano of the Daily News’ says he’s probably play.

Are there any Giants fans who want Tynes back at all, let alone if he rushes back?  There seemed to be a disconnect between the media coverage of Tynes after the Green Bay game and Giants’ fans opinion of him.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but he’s not really a hero in our minds, right?  I guess we’re grateful for the 47-yarder, but overall, I think most of us still want to strangle him for the two previous kicks.  And we  still don’t trust him.  Lawrence Tynes, you are no Matt Bahr.

Danny Ware Arrested:

Danny Ware, who earned a roster spot by running pretty during the preseason, was arrested in Athens, GA last Saturday after the UGA-Alabama game.  According to police, he was standing in the street with a girl oblivious to oncoming traffic, and blew a .152 on his BAC.

But according to some eyewitnesses who commented on the Athens-Banner Herald’s website, Ware was merely the victim of a power-tripping asshole cop.  According to these witnesses, Ware was standing not far from the curb trying to hail a cab when a cop abruptly rolled up and arrested four people for no good reason.

With our Big Three at running back, Ware probably won’t play a role on this year’s team.  But Jacobs is a free agent after this year, so it’s not out of the question that we will hear from this guy someday.

Madison:

This is a nice article by Paul Schwartz in the Post about how Sam Madison has evolved into a kind of player-coach in the secondary.  Madison took a $500,000 pay cut to stay with the G-Men, and though his skills are clearly diminished, he provides a valuable veteran presence for A-Ross, Webster, and Dockery.  And, of course, he made a great play on 3rd down in overtime against the Bengals, enabling us to get the ball back and drive for the winning field goal.

The story would be even more heartwarming, however, if Madison hadn’t committed that egregious 15-yard personal foul penalty in the NFC Championship game that led to Donald Lee’s go-ahead touchdown.  Fox replays didn’t capture him throwing down Brandon Jackson last year, so I have never seen that clip.  Has anyone?  Is their any hand-held YouTube footage of this one?