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Giants RB Jacobs plans to be cautious with knee
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The season isn't turning out the way New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs planned.
This was supposed to be his bounceback year. The season the 29-year-old split carries with good buddy Ahmad Bradshaw and he returned to being a 1,000-yard rusher.
Heading into the bye week, Jacobs has gained 116 yards on a paltry 38 carries. He has played in only four of the Giants' six games, missing the last two with a swollen knee. There is no guarantee that will be ready to go when the team returns on Oct. 30 against the now winless Miami Dolphins.
Jacobs expects to play, but in almost the same breath he adds he will not go unless his knee is 100 percent. The seven-year veteran played on a subpar knee two years ago and struggled, and he has vowed not to make the same mistake again.
"I got most of the swelling down, so now I am just working on flexing and being able to do certain things," Jacobs said Tuesday after sitting out the team's final practice before scattering for a five-day vacation. "I am not worried about it. I will be back when I need to be back."
Jacobs was hurt in a game against the Cardinals in Arizona on Oct. 2, and didn't expect to miss any time. His MRI was negative.
However his knee ballooned after the team returned to New Jersey, although Jacobs said that safety Antrel Rolle's description that it was the size of a volleyball was grossly inaccurate.
A grapefruit, maybe, he said.
Sitting out wasn't easy.
"You have your team out there fighting and scratching as hard as they can fight and scratch for 60 minutes and you want to be out there helping," he said. "That is the hard thing about it because you have your teammates and you want to be there for them. It's (bad) when you are hurt."
Listening to Jacobs, it seemed obvious that he wants the ball more than the nine-plus carries he was averaging before being hurt. He also made it clear that he was not going to rock the boat.
"Listen man, I don't know," he said. "With the way things go. I take what I'm given and I try to make it the best I can."
Running backs coach Jerald Ingram understands the big guy. He remembers the 2007 and '08 seasons when Jacobs rushed for 1,000 yards and shared time with Derrick Ward, Bradshaw and others.
While Bradshaw is now the featured back, Ingram said Jacobs will get a bigger part of the load once he is ready to go.
Ingram said the only reason that Jacobs didn't get a lot of carries in the first four games was the offense had too many short series when he was on the field and the team fell behind and had to play catch up, which meant fewer runs.
Ingram knows the lack of carries has been hard on Jacobs. His only advice has been to hang in there.
"He is a leader out there for the offense and the defense because you love seeing that big son of a gun try to run," Ingram said. "Now they are to try to chop him. Who wouldn't try to chop a 6-foot-4 back? Most people wouldn't even put him there. But when he does have a chance, and you see people go that way (north-and-south), it motivates everybody on the sideline.
"That's why you love having that guy on the team. The Giants have always been about physical play and he is your physical specimen."
Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said the lack of carries has not allowed Jacobs to get into a rhythm, which he seemed to be in the preseason.
"It's so different when you are playing for real," Gilbride said, "than what you are doing in the preseason."
Gilbride knows Jacobs is like any other skilled play, he wants the ball.
"We want him to have it," Gilbride said. "But you have only have so many plays in a game and only do so many things. There are some people who say 'you're not running the ball or only teams that run win.' None of that ever concerned me. It's are we moving the ball that week and giving the team a chance to win and then you deal with the fallout afterward.
"If we are running the ball well, they are all going to get carries."
NOTES: DE Justin Tuck, DE Osi Umenyiora, S Kenny Phillips and G Chris Snee did not practice on Tuesday. ... The Giants were supposed to get a contract-mandated four days off because of the bye week, but coach Tom Coughlin gave the team an extra day because they were "organized" and got everything done early.
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