EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — A bloodied Eli Manning was in some discomfort a day after receiving 12 stitches for a head wound.
Manning’s status for the New York Giants’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend is uncertain.
While the Giants said Tuesday that Manning showed no signs of a concussion after suffering a three-inch gash to his head in a 31-16 win over the Jets on Monday night, the 29-year-old quarterback was undergoing a battery of tests to make sure he did not suffer a more serious head injury. His helmet knocked off and he was hit in the head.
Coach Tom Coughlin was told Tuesday morning that Manning, the former Ole Miss star, was experiencing the normal amount of discomfort a player goes through when he has stitches.
“He did not talk too much about pain, but I don’t have a lot of information because any time you have an injury that is a head injury they are going to do all kinds of tests,” Coughlin said. “They are in the process of doing that right now.”
Coughlin refused to speculate whether Manning will play Saturday night in the Giants’ preseason home opener at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
“We’ll wait and hear what the doctors have to say after all their examinations are concluded,” Coughlin said.
Manning was having the tests at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City on Tuesday. Coughlin did not know the exact nature of the tests.
“He is going to go through the battery of tests that any player has who experiences any kind of a head injury,” Coughlin said. “They are not going to leave a stone unturned.”
Manning was expected to rejoin the Giants at training camp in Albany, N.Y., on Tuesday night.
Even if Manning is cleared to play, there is some concern his helmet could rub against the stitches and create a problem with the wound healing.
“Our medical people will make all of those decisions and the health and well-being will be first and foremost in terms of the decision to be made,” Coughlin said. “There is great deal of attention placed in this area (head injuries).”
Manning was hurt with 10:45 left in the second quarter when he opted to throw a pass on a run call without telling the rest of the offense.
Expecting a handoff, big Brandon Jacobs ran into Manning with his shoulder as the quarterback pulled the ball away. The collision knocked the ball loose and pushed Manning’s chin strap off his jaw.
Then Jets linebacker Calvin Pace hit Manning in the middle of his back, knocking off his helmet and pushing Manning face first forward.
“You can imagine how that works when the chin strap comes off your chin,” Coughlin said. “It (the helmet) was not unbuttoned. He had it buttoned the way it was supposed to be buttoned.”
With the helmet off, Manning’s head slammed into either Jets safety Jim Leonhard or Jacobs, who were standing next to each other.
The seven-year veteran immediately fell to the turf and put his hand to his head. He quickly motioned to the training staff for help once he saw his hand covered in blood.
Replays showed blood pouring from Manning’s head shortly after he fell to the ground.
Jim Sorgi replaced Manning and had a good game, throwing two of the three touchdown passes that free agent Victor Cruz caught. Sorgi took a big hit after hitting Cruz on a 34-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter and complained of a sore shoulder.
“If it was a regular-season game, hopefully I’d just go out and do what I did tonight and we win the ballgame,” said Sorgi, who backed up Peyton Manning for six years in Indianapolis before signing with the Giants in the offseason.
Sorgi said Eli is like Peyton — he does not miss games.
“It’s just one of those things that his helmet came off, and when your helmet comes off, the play is supposed to stop,” Sorgi said. “It didn’t stop fast enough, and he caught another helmet in the head. Those things happen. It’s just part of the game, and he’ll bounce back and he’ll be ready to go whenever he can.”
Veteran linebacker Chase Blackburn sprained his right knee (MCL) in the game. Second-year receiver Ramses Barden was experiencing low back issues and doctors are trying to determine the cause, Coughlin said.
Tom Canavan/The Associated Press