The Giants vs. Jets Rivalry Turns Into A Bloody Mess

August 18, 2010 – 9:30 am by timgunter

Rivalries exist in the NFL between division opponents and between teams that just downright hate each other, as is the case with the Giants vs. Jets rivalry.  The Giants and Jets typically play each other every year in the third week of the preseason, but not this year.  On a night that was supposed to celebrate the opening of New Meadowlands Stadium, the lasting image that I have is witnessing blood gushing from Eli Manning’s head after his helmet flew off he was tackled during a busted play that resulted in a three-inch laceration and him receiving twelve stitches to close the gash on the left side of his forehead.  After Giants doctors spent the majority of yesterday administering tests to make sure he didn’t receive a concussion or have any other damage to his head, Manning says he is all right but he has not yet been cleared to play Saturday night against the Steelers.  Even though these two teams aren’t scheduled to play against each other for the rest of the season, this rivalry will only intensify and the next time they play each other it is almost certain the Giants will get some sort of payback.

Eli Manning joined ESPN Radio in New York to talk about  how his head is feeling, whether he would have been able to get his head stitched up and go back in the game had it been the NFC Championship game, and whether he started to panic once he saw the amount of blood gushing from his head.

How his head is feeling:

“It feels really good.  I was a little worried last night but no headache, there was no concussion of any sorts, just got 12 stitches put in, there are some stitches in there but it has been covered up the whole time.  I feel, my body, my mind, my head, it all feels really good and it is just a matter of getting back, it is just a matter of really when I can put a helmet on and all of the stitches, get those taken out and get cleared to play.”

Whether he would have been able to get his head stitched up and go back in the game had it been the NFC Championship game:

“I didn’t feel bad.  It wasn’t as if I was knocked out.  Even right after it, it wasn’t like I was in pain or discomfort of any sorts so I don’t know what the ruling on that would be.  I would fight for it I know that.  I don’t know what the trainers would say or how they could get something to kind of go in my helmet to make sure I didn’t rub the stitches or get it to stop bleeding and all of that so I don’t know what the ruling and how that would work.  I know that I would definitely fight to get back out there because I wasn’t feeling bad after I got everything stitched up.  I was able to go home and I was able to kind of watch the highlights and see the rest of the game, so I don’t have an exact answer for you I guess.”

Whether he started to panic once he saw the amount of blood gushing from his head:

“I probably did panic for just a little bit because, kind of like you said, I just saw it gushing out and I kind of put my hand on it, all over my hand and kind of going all over the place.  I wasn’t looking, I knew I had fumbled the ball but I wasn’t looking to recover the football at the time.  I was kind of looking at the trainers and saying, ‘Hey get out here.  Something is going on.’  I mean if you see that much blood you do panic a little bit but again I kind of knelt down for a second because I didn’t know what was going on, I felt I could stand up and I met the trainers halfway.  They just said, ‘Cover it up.  Put some pressure on it.’  Ronnie Barnes and our whole training staff just kind of talked me through it and kept me calm.  I was able to walk off the side into the locker room on my own.  I wasn’t in pain.  I wasn’t dinged.  I knew I didn’t have a concussion or anything, at first I was a little panicked but once I got it to stop bleeding and gushing, I was able to walk off and I calmed down and they just said that they have got to stitch this up and hopefully everything will be fine.  All day I have been getting tests done and just making sure there are no further damages to my brain or my skull and stuff and everything looks fine so that is all good news.”

How the play happened and what went wrong:

“That is what kind of makes me mad.  It was my fault.  We had a run play called, I wanted to check, I should have checked to the pass play.  I kind of called the receivers just to run fades just thinking that we do that sometimes with certain runs, you have to throw it real quick.  On that certain play we kind of played around a whole lot, we had Brandon coming just right down the middle, a quick hitting play, I kind of just, I guess I kind of just forgot that he would be coming right up the middle, I might run into him on my dropback and sure enough that is what happened.  He is running, he is getting the ball.  He doesn’t know that I might throw this and so I just ran into him a little bit and that knocked my helmet just a little loose and got hit from the backside and that knocked it off.  Looks like I just got knocked into another player and that are where I got hit in the forehead and everything went on from there.”

Whether the cut came from a bit or hitting a helmet as he went down:

“I can’t really tell either.  I was kind of looking at the replay also.  I think it was from Leonhard’s helmet.  It kind of looks like there is a little helmet-bruise.  I kind of have bruises on the other side of my head also that didn’t cut or didn’t break the skin.  It kind of looks like I have the little square, the vision, of the helmet.  It is very odd because I have that right there.  That is the only thing that I can think that happened right there.  That is somehow what broke the skin and caused the bleeding.”

Eli Manning on ESPN Radio NY with Michael Kay

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