Only a little more than 48 hours now until kickoff of the NFC Championship Game between the New York Giants and the 49ers in San Francisco, and we have a few updates on some issues that might be important to you as you fret about it.
First, on the injury front, some new names showed up on today's Giants injury report. Center David Baas missed Friday's practice because he's apparently caught Eli Manning's stomach bug. Tight end Jake Ballard missed practice after having medication injected into his ailing knee on Thursday. The Giants are listing Ballard as questionable and Baas as probable for the game, though Ballard says he expects to play.
Also listed as probable are wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who was limited in practice after turning his ankle, and running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who practiced Friday after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday with a foot injury, as he's been doing for the past month or so.
On the weather, it's apparently raining pretty hard in San Francisco today and tonight, but the forecast for Saturday calls for morning showers and afternoon sunshine. And the game-day forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of rain and a high temperature of 54 degrees. That's a radical change from the forecasts from earlier in the week, which said it would rain every day leading up to the game and on game day. Assuming the field is covered by a tarp, per NFL rules, all the worries about slick and muddy field conditions could turn out to have been for nought.
Finally, I know you all love to talk and worry and complain about the officials, and you know I think it's all a bunch of hooey that gets way, way, way too much attention. But I'm here for you, and if you'd like you can check out Mike Sando's post over on the NFC West blog about Ed Hochuli and all of the holding penalties he calls. Just remember, Hochuli isn't working this game with the same holding-happy crew with which he worked during the regular season. The NFL picks top officials and puts them together on "all-star" crews for the conference title games and the Super Bowl.
Back with more in these final 50 or so hours before the game. But in case I don't see you, have a very nice Friday evening.