Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Eli Manning Leaves Practice Early With "Illness"

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning left Wednesday's practice early because of symptoms that head coach Tom Coughlin called "a stomach bug, hopefully a 24-hour deal."

The Giants have weathered a battery of player's injuries and sicknesses all season but, as the team gets ready to face the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday's NFC Championship game, Manning is the one player they can't do without.

Manning was put on the injury report for the first time this season after he missed the majority of today's practice.

The Giants QB started practice but couldn't finish and didn't hang around the locker room to talk.

The Giants officially listed Manning as limited due to "illness."  Coughlin said he had  a "stomach flu."

Manning may have left practice prematurely but few— if any—of his teammates expect him to miss Sunday's game.

"If there is one guy who can miss a practice Wednesday mentally, it's No. 10," said guard Chris Snee.  He was probably here on Monday and Tuesday looking at game film."

"He's probably going to spend the rest of the day doing that," agreed tight end Jake  Ballard.

Backup quarterback David Carr took over for Manning— who the Giants hope will return on Thursday.

The team noticed Manning looked a little queasy from the start of today's practice session.

"You could tell he was hurting bad," said Ballard.  "He usually toughs things out like that.  You could tell he was dragging, and you don't like seeing your Pro-Bowl quarterback throwing up or feeling like that.  Hopefully, he'll be better tomorrow."

Also limited on Wednesday were defensive ends Osi Umenyiora (ankle, knee), Justin Tuck (shoulder), cornerback Corey Webster (hamstring) and linebacker Mark Herzlich (ankle).

Another concern is Ahmad Bradshaw who completely missed practice with a foot problem.  The running back has been frequently sitting out practices while nursing the injury over the past few weeks.

While all the talk in the locker room centered around Manning, his teammates claimed that it will take more than a bug to keep their battle-tested leader out of this weekend's game.

"There's no way," said fullback Henry Hisnoski.  "I think he'll play no matter what."

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