Kiwi: I'll be ready for season opener

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants strongside linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka, who suffered a strained left groin on the final play of the first half in Friday night's 20-17 preseason loss to the Chicago Bears, said he will be ready to play in the team's regular-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 5.

"I feel good," Kiwanuka said. "I had a little bit of a groin issue there, but we'll obviously get some studies or whatever done on it. But I don't think it's anything serious, nothing that should affect me for the beginning of the season."

Kiwanuka said he does expect to miss some practice time, but nothing more. He added that he overcame the same injury last year, and, he thinks, in 2008.

"I'm just going to ice it, rehab it and do whatever they have scheduled. We're going to look up what we did last time. But I don't anticipate it being more than a week, a week-and-a-half, something like that."

Kiwanuka, who finished with two tackles for loss, explained how he got hurt. "I was on the ground, and somebody fell on top of me, and legs aren't made to go that way, so something had to give," he said.

Kiwanuka walked off the field gingerly, but apparently won't have to miss any important games.

Also on the injury front, reserve middle linebacker Mark Herzlich said he should be fine after tweaking his shoulder late in the third quarter.

"They just taped it up and I went back out there," Herzlich said. "It's just painful, but you just deal with pain."

Herzlich was icing his shoulder after the game. “They tested it for strength, and the stability was OK,” he said.

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Da'Rel Scott was all over the field on Friday night.

The reserve running back finished with five carries for 16 yards, one catch for 12 yards, and one kickoff return for 28 yards. But it was his second-quarter punt block that had everyone talking.

"It's just something we've been working on during the week," said Scott, whose block and Greg Jones' subsequent recovery gave the Giants the ball at the Chicago 10-yard line. Two plays later, Andre Brown scored on a 1-yard run to give New York a 17-7 lead with 1:17 remaining in the first half.

"I tried to use my skill set, tried to set them up and use some speed rushes. I tried to set them up again, did an outside and then went with an up-and-under and it worked out."

Scott is still vying for a roster spot, so his all-around performance didn't hurt. "In my situation now, I gotta get noticed somewhere, so if it takes special teams, I gotta make that my main thing and make plays there," said Scott, who added that the key to blocking punts is keeping your eyes on the ball and staying on the block point.

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In what could be his final tuneup of the preseason, Eli Manning went 17-for-21 for 148 yards and a touchdown.

"I feel good," Manning said. "Those are the things that make the preseason so helpful. You go such a long period of time without being hit. It's different knowing there's a guy who is coming after you, and a guy who can't hit you."

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Left tackle Sean Locklear, who started in place of the injured Will Beatty and played well, is confident that he can fill the role if Beatty (back) is unable to play on Sept. 5 in the regular-season opener.

"I'm comfortable," said Locklear, who is still adjusting to the left side after playing on the right side for most of his career. "I know the technique is gonna come along, but I've got to learn the system and what everybody else is doing so you know what you're doing, mental-wise. I'm very confident that I can get the job done."

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Second-year linebacker Jacquian Williams did not play despite being healthy. He had been practicing after missing time earlier in training camp with a hip-pointer.

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The Giants have to get down to 75 players on Monday, 53 on Friday.