GIANTS ARRIVE IN INDIANAPOLIS WITHOUT THEIR INJURED ... FOR NOW
Giants’ charter landed at Indianapolis International Airport at 2:49
p.m. Monday, according to flight records, and the requisite team flag
was hung out the window as the plane taxied in from the runway. When the
door opened, numerous coaches, assorted staff members and players
stepped out, and the Giants had officially arrived atSuper BowlXLVI.
Most of them, at least.
the 53 players on the active roster (and eight more on the practice
squad) traveled on the team flight, a group of other players who had
varying degrees of involvement with the Giants’ reaching the ultimate
game of the season will not arrive until later in the week.
we don’t have the same obligations as the rest of the players, but
we’re still part of the team,” left tackle Will Beatty said in a
telephone interview. “It’s not like I’m going to Indianapolis to hang
out by myself. It’s a team-sanctioned thing; we’re going to be with the
guys. We’re just coming later.”
played 10 games before undergoing surgery to repair a detached retina,
is one of 10 players currently on injured reserve for the Giants, a list
that includes the star cornerback Terrell Thomas and the highly
regarded rookie defensive tackle Marvin Austin, neither of whom played a
regular-season snap for the Giants. Most of those players will not
travel here until Thursday, when the Giants will charter another flight
for injured players and other guests of the team.
is not an ideal situation, cornerback Michael Coe admitted recently,
gesturing to his injured shoulder. “In my dreams, I was usually playing
in the game, you know?” he said. But the sentiment for injured players
is similar to their healthy brethren’s: We are part of the Giants,
several said. The Giants are in the Super Bowl. So we are happy.
“I love this group,” said receiver Michael Clayton, who tore his meniscus. “I want to win as much as anyone.”
Linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka, who grew up in Indianapolis, said he felt for the players who could not play Sunday against theNew England Patriots. In 2008, Kiwanuka watched as his teammates upset the undefeated Patriots to win Super Bowl XLII, a bittersweet experience.
tough; I have a lot of sympathy for them because I understand exactly
what they are going through,” Kiwanuka said. “You don’t realize how
important it is until it is taken away.”
was one of six Giants players who met the news media Monday afternoon,
and the common theme among them and Coach Tom Coughlin was focus. The
Giants did their best to stick to routine, boarding buses for the
airport at the same time they have all year and keeping to their typical
meetings schedule in hopes of furthering the notion that despite the
pomp of the Super Bowl, this is a business trip.
staid departure stood in contrast to that of the Patriots, who held a
pep rally on Sunday before heading to the airport. Tom Brady may or may
not have guaranteed a victory when he spoke of wanting to see even more
fans present next week.
While the Patriots
appeared to enjoy the send-off, Giants lineman Chris Snee said he was
not envious; all the Patriots gained by coming in a day earlier was “a
more expensive hotel bill,” he said wryly. He added that the Giants
preferred going through a “normal departure, a normal road game
“A pep rally isn’t a part of that,” Snee said.
some of the Giants’ enthusiasm could not be contained. Coughlin said
several players used video cameras to document the otherwise
unremarkable plane flight, and the Giants were greeted at their downtown
hotel by a throng of onlookers, some of whom, perhaps, noticed the
rookie lineman James Brewer carrying a teddy bear.
Punter Steve Weatherford sent a photo of theview from his hotel room via Twitter. He included a message, with three exclamation points, about how he had finally arrived at a Super Bowl.
just been an incredible ride,” said receiver Victor Cruz, who had not
recorded an N.F.L. reception before this season. “I can’t even put it
into words. Sometimes I kind of think back to where I was a year ago and
where I am now, it’s just a complete 180. It’s just amazing.”
said he expected the jolt of arriving at the Super Bowl to wear off the
players by Wednesday, when they will begin practice. Tuesday will be
primarily consumed with the annual Media Day responsibilities, as well
as the official Super Bowl team photo.
year ago the Green Bay Packers endured some grumbling after their
injured players were not going to be included in the photo (the team
ultimately changed the date of the shoot to accommodate them), but the
Giants do not appear to have a similar conflict. Beatty, for one, said
he did not mind missing out.
injured reserve were also not able to acquire the same number of game
tickets as active players (8 instead of 15, cornerback Coe said), and
they may not sit in on all the team meetings, according to Beatty.
they remain invested in the outcome. Coe attended many of the extra
film sessions that members of the secondary held after practice this
season, and the inspirational Clayton continued to go in on Fridays to
address members of the team before games. Beatty, who worked out at the
Giants’ training center while his eye healed, said watching his
teammates play was physically draining.
stress out more when I’m watching the game then when I’m actually
playing in the game,” he said. “My eye is still real sensitive, so if my
blood pressure rises too much, my eye starts to get red.”
overtime against San Francisco, I had to get up and take a break from
watching,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing happens