Giants' Aaron Ross hopes to play

Updated: September 11, 2010, 9:41 AM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com

Giants cornerback Aaron Ross is ready to play. Tom Coughlin hasn't given him the green light yet, but a barrage of orthotics, cushions and medical tape are doing their part to make the plantar fasciitis in his foot bearable enough to play through.

A final exam -- being observed in some drills on Sunday morning before the Giants host Carolina at 1 p.m. ET at New Meadowlands Stadium -- probably will be the deciding factor, Ross said.

"I never been a cautious guy," said Ross, who is listed as doubtful for the game. "I missed all of last year so I'm really anxious to play. I love the game so if I have to play with a little pain that's what I'm willing to do as long as it doesn't hurt the team."

Last season, three hamstring injuries kept him out of all but four games, so this season, Ross is looking to make an impact on defense and special teams. He is hoping that the foot injury doesn't keep him from being considered as a punt returner for the team. At least with his current injury, he is able to practice and is seeing improvement.

"In the beginning it was really difficult. I couldn't put my heel down. I couldn't plant," Ross said. "But this week I've been doing a lot day by day -- 50 percent the first practice, 75 and the whole practice today. I've felt really good. It's getting better and better every day, and I still have two more days, so don't count me out."

The Giants saw injuries to a dozen or more key players during training camp, but most have come far enough to be available for the first game of the season. Other than Ross, Gerris Wilkinson (groin) is questionable, but Phillip Dillard (hamstring) is out.

Corey Webster (groin) will be back.

Ross suffered the injury Aug. 25 in a preseason game against Pittsburgh, and his foot was placed in a hard cast. He said he didn't notice the injury until he came off the field.

"I cut off the tape and that's when I realized my heel was a little painful," Ross said. "I'm pretty sure it wasn't the tape job. It was probably the way I planted it. I just didn't feel it until I took the tape off."

On Friday, Ross said he was able to jump and sprint, and everything felt good.

"As a football player we play in pain all the time," Ross said. "So if it's just pain, then I'll be ready for Week 1, but if it's still injured and I hurt the team, then once again I can't make that decision."

Jane McManus is a reporter and columnist for ESPNNewYork.com.

Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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