Giants win marred by injury
NFL: The New York Giants' startlingly lopsided 38-10 win over the Green Bay Packers last night came at a price. Running back Andre Brown, who was enjoying a breakthrough season and had eight of the team's 14 rushing touchdowns, went down with a broken fibula.
"It's going to be a tough loss," Eli Manning said. "He's an important player for us, obviously." Running back Ahmad Bradshaw said it was difficult to find words to console Brown, who had 73 carries for 385 yards and led the team with 5.3 yards per rushing attempt. Brown was one of the feel-good stories this season after spending last year on the Giants' practice squad. In his first three years before that, he saw time with the Giants, Denver and Indianapolis; his two carries netted a one-yard loss during that span.
"I feel bad for Andre," Bradshaw said. "He's my little brother. It's heartbreaking for me to see him so down."
The Giants, who drafted Brown out of North Carolina State in the fourth round in 2009, taking him 129th overall, had increasingly turned to him in short-yardage situations. That included the opening possession of last night's game, when his two-yard burst off left tackle capped a six-play, 74-yard drive and set the tone against a Packers team that had won five consecutive games.
Brown went on to pace a revived ground attack that churned out 147 yards by carrying 13 times for 64 yards. He left the game for good after ripping off a 16-yard gain with 10:55 minutes remaining as the Giants, in command by what would be the final score, killed the clock. Coach Tom Coughlin did not offer an update on Brown's injury or a timetable for his recovery.
Brown's loss will place a greater burden on Bradshaw, who has been forced to miss significant practice time with a recurrence of foot problems that have troubled him through much of his six-year career. Bradshaw appeared to greatly benefit from the bye week that led into the Green Bay game. He hit holes quickly and with authority in finishing with 10 rushes for 58 yards. His lone score came on his longest run of the game, when he tore through a hole up the middle for 13 yards to create a 31-10 advantage late in the second quarter.
Bradshaw said of the time off: "It helped me a whole lot. I just felt more explosive. I'm not going through so much pain walking around."
It remains unclear how heavy a workload the hard-nosed Bradshaw will be able to bear. Some carries will most certainly have to fall to the rookie running back David Wilson, the team's first-round draft choice, who has been largely a disappointment. He was given some opportunities once Brown went to the locker room and turned six carries into only 13 yards. He did not have an attempt that went for more than 4 yards.