Source: Bradshaw 'definitely back soon'

A day after the Giants put together a 24-20 win over the Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., coach Tom Coughlin wasn’t ready to declare that several key players will be ready to play in San Francisco this week.

Coughlin said center David Baas, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and running back Ahmad Bradshaw were “improving” and that there were encouraging signs but further evaluation needs to be made before determining when they will return to the Giants' practice field. Nicks and Bradshaw were injured in the win over Miami. Bradshaw fractured a surgically repaired foot, and Nicks hurt his hamstring. Baas has a knee injury.

Specifically about Bradshaw, Coughlin said the team has to wait and see how he feels before putting together a plan for him to return.

A source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that Bradshaw “will definitely be back soon,” however.

It has been previously reported that he won’t need surgery on the stress fracture in his foot. The injury is supposed to heal on its own.

The source told Schefter that Bradshaw may be able to play as soon as Sunday.

Coughlin also said that draft pick Prince Amukamura was improving with the broken foot but, “There are still some things that need to be cleared up on the practice field.”

In place of Baas and Bradshaw, Kevin Boothe took over at center and Brandon Jacobs was the primary back.

The Giants didn’t let the number of injuries to starters get in the way of their game plan against Tom Brady and the Patriots.

“We never use that for an excuse here, it’s next man up,” said general manager Jerry Reese on ESPN New York 1050 Monday afternoon.

Jacobs gained 72 yards on 18 carries and scored a touchdown, and tight end Jake Ballard stepped in as an effective target, with 67 yards on four catches, including two in the pivotal game-winning drive.

Reese reiterated that although all three injured starters were improving they are not yet definite to return. He also made a point to praise Boothe for being so versatile, and said the backup center was one of the unsung players of the game.