Injured players to go for Eagles, Giants

Updated: December 18, 2010, 3:56 AM ET
By Ian Begley | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A number of banged-up players are planning to return to the field for the NFC East showdown between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.

New York center Shaun O'Hara, who has missed the past six games with a Lisfranc sprain in his right foot, said Friday afternoon that he expects to play Sunday afternoon at the New Meadowlands Stadium.

"Something about playing the Eagles makes you feel better all over," O'Hara said.

Philadelphia (9-4) listed Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel (knee) and Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson (toe) as questionable for Sunday's game, which officially means they have a 50 percent chance to play.

"They both practiced and they both feel better," coach Andy Reid said. "They got more work today and that's a plus. I just want to see how they feel tonight and tomorrow."

But after going through Friday's indoor practice, both are expected to play in a battle for first place.

O'Hara is officially listed as probable by the Giants. He has been limited to just four games this season due to multiple injuries.

O'Hara missed three games earlier in the year with a left ankle and left Achillies injury he suffered during training camp.

The Giants have been decimated by injuries on the offensive line. They have started six different combinations of linemen this season. If O'Hara plays, Sunday will mark the first time the original five have started together since Week 7 against the Cowboys. Tackle Shawn Andrews, who has practiced on a limited basis all week due to a back injury, is questionable for Sunday's game.

Even with a depleted offensive line, the Giants have 410 rushing yards in the last two games.

"I really think it's a tribute to guys like Rich [Seubert]," O'Hara said of the Giants left guard who has filled in at center this season. 'He's really been our MVP."

Additionally, O'Hara said on Friday that his foot injury hasn't fully healed but he feels healthy enough to play 60 minutes on Sunday.

Samuel was listed as questionable the past two weeks and did not play. But Reid sounded much more optimistic Friday. Samuel suffered the MCL sprain in the Eagles' last game against the Giants, a 27-17 win on Nov. 21.

"I'm feeling good. I'm pretty excited," said Samuel, who has missed four games this season. "Every day, I'm feeling better. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and the next day."

That would be Sunday, when the Eagles and Giants vie for control of the NFC East at New Meadowlands Stadium.

"You have an MCL sprain, you know what comes from that," Samuel said. "But nobody is 100 percent this time of the year. You just have to deal with it and overcome it. Not being out there and not being able to perform and play with the confidence that you normally would, that gets a little frustrating. But I'm making strides."

Jackson, who rarely lacks confidence -- please see his touchdown reception versus Dallas on Sunday night -- also plans to be on the field for what has turned into the biggest game of the season for both teams.

"I still got two days to get ready, so I should be fine," said Jackson, who had 215 receiving yards last week. "At practice today, I did some things. It felt pretty good. I did a lot more today than I did yesterday. I don't think it's that serious to hold me out for a long time. So we should be good and smooth. I'm really not into sitting out games."

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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