Jacobs, Burress practice as Giants prepare for Patriots

Updated: December 27, 2007, 1:29 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

There's every indication that the New York Giants will meet the New England Patriots' quest for perfection head-on Saturday night and play, or at least start, their starters.

Nicked-up players who were expected to rest on Wednesday practiced and said they wanted to play. And coach Tom Coughlin, while leaving himself some wiggle room, said the Giants would prepare for and play the game the same as any other week.

The matchup with the Patriots, who are seeking to become the first team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to complete a regular season undefeated, has divided opinions on what's more important for the playoff-bound Giants: Taking the challenge to stop the Pats' march toward history, or resting starters and avoiding injuries for next weekend's playoff game at Tampa Bay.

"Our objective is to win," Coughlin said Wednesday, according to New York-area media reports. "That's what we work for, that's what we prepare for, that's what we practice for. And it will be no different this week."

Plaxico Burress practiced on a limited basis for only the third time this season and Brandon Jacobs worked out on a sprained ankle Wednesday as the Giants (10-5) got ready for the 15-0 Patriots.

"No one in here is screaming 'Let's rest,' I can tell you that," Jacobs said. "Guys want to play. It's the last regular-season game and it's [at] home. Guys won't want to sit down.

"Coach Coughlin said we're going to play to win the game," Jacobs said. "Whatever we have to do to do that, that's what we're going to do. No matter what it is, we're going to do it."

It was assumed by many that Burress, who has battled a sprained ankle since early in training camp, would be the one player that Coughlin would rest against the Patriots.

"I came in yesterday and told the coach I wanted to go out and get a few reps during the week," Burress said. "I'm starting to feel a little better. It had nothing to do with the game this week. I just want to get out and do what I can. We're approaching this game to go out and win."

Burress leads the Giants with 66 catches and 10 touchdowns, but his production has slipped in the second half of the season. Eight of his touchdowns came in the first six games. He has only had 14 receptions and one TD in the past four games.

As for Coughlin, his comments left the door open for a change in strategy.

"I think I have made it clear -- the best interest of our team will be focused on, always," Coughlin said. "But we are going to prepare and play as hard as we can."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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