Friday links, hot-n-fresh.
Everybody wants to know when Prince Amukamara will take the field, and the Giants' coaches are no exception. The rookie first-round pick is being pushed a bit harder in practice this week due to the team's need for depth at the cornerback position, but the Giants have to balance their desire to see Amukamara play with the wisdom of rushing him back from a broken foot.
The Giants are pushing always-injured receiver Ramses Barden in practice this week, too, and that's because it's starting to sound as though Hakeem Nicks' hamstring injury is likely to keep him out of Sunday's game at New England. Barden would be for depth, because I think we've seen in the past that it takes Eli Manning a little bit of time to really trust a receiver. I'd expect Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham to get the catches that would normally belong to Nicks.
Sheil Kapadia says Nnamdi Asomugha covered Jason Witten on 12 of 40 plays Sunday night -- more than any other Eagles defender. The idea is that this is significant because (a) it's a thing that the Eagles have had trouble stopping tight ends for a long time now and (b) the fact that Asomugha was able to cover Witten sometimes and other of the Cowboys' receivers at other times indicates an improved level of flexibility and agility in the Eagles' defensive schemes. Asomugha seemed to have more fun in this game than in any other he's played for the Eagles so far, and that's likely because he and others have begun to feel far more comfortable in the defense.
I'm sorry, but I'm with receiver Jason Avant on his fan comments. Fans can't boo their own team and make signs demanding the coach be fired and expect the team to offer hugs and kisses once things start going well again. Reap what you sow and all of that. If the team or some of its players have a testy relationship with the fans, I think the fans (at least in a case like this) would do well to examine their own role in having brought that about.
Sean Lee is trying everything he can do to be ready to play Sunday, including getting fitted for a cast for his dislocated wrist. It remains to be seen whether Lee can play Sunday or anytime soon or at all for the rest of this season, but the linebacker promises he's going to try.
The Cowboys say Tony Romo's not being reined in, and the lack of a downfield passing game has more to do with the struggles of the offensive line and an increased emphasis on the run game. I buy this, but they'd better hope it's temporary if they really want to be 2011 contenders.
Barry Svrluga takes a look at why the Redskins' defense has struggled against the run and what they plan to do about it, though it's tough to imagine them fixing it in time to stop Frank Gore on Sunday.