Giants' Steve Smith strains pectoral

11/12/2010 - NFL Steve Smith New York Giants + more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants wide receiver Steve Smith suffered a strained pectoral muscle during practice Thursday and will undergo further tests.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Smith tried to practice after the injury but couldn't finish.

"He had trouble driving his arms after the injury so he couldn't continue," Coughlin said. "But I don't have anything to tell you until they do all the tests."

Smith's status for Sunday's game against the Cowboys is uncertain. If Smith cannot play, Mario Manningham will start opposite Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden will move up to third receiver.

Smith is quarterback Eli Manning's security blanket across the middle. He has 47 receptions for 517 yards and three touchdowns this season.

Coughlin said Smith was extending himself for a pass across the middle when he got hurt.

"It was kind of a blur for me because I didn't realize he had done anything," Coughlin said. "He tried to move his arms and that type of thing and he had some pain up in his pec area. We will have to wait and see."

When asked what Smith brings to the lineup that is so hard to replace, Kevin Gilbride sounded a bit like an offensive coordinator who will be without his Pro Bowl receiver this weekend.

"He's the most polished receiver we have," Gilbride said. "He's a guy who has really earned the respect of the defense to such a point that so many of the things they do are designed to stop him. I think people basically have said it's hard to cover him one-on-one inside so people have committed other people and additional resources ... so that either opens up running opportunities for us or passing opportunities for other people. It's a huge loss, but we'll make do."

Smith was not in the locker room after practice to talk to reporters. If he can't play, the Giants (6-2) will have to face the Cowboys (1-7) without a Pro Bowl receiver who has absolutely terrorized the Cowboys' secondary. In the Giants' 41-35 win on Oct. 25, Smith had nine receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown.

Smith also had 10 catches for 134 yards in a win in Dallas last year as well. In his last three games against the Cowboys, Smith has compiled a total of 25 receptions for 345 yards and two touchdowns.

But he isn't the only Giants wide receiver to have success against Dallas. Manningham had 10 catches for 150 yards and a touchdown against them last season in a win in Dallas and he scored against them this season as well.
And Nicks leveled the Cowboys for nine catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns in their last meeting.

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.