Sports

Ahmad Bradshaw's potential return could fortify Giants running game

FootballSportsBaltimore RavensNew York GiantsTom CoughlinAhmad BradshawAtlanta Falcons

Ahmad Bradshaw has said that he plans to play Sunday, which should cause some concern for the Ravens.

The New York Giants running back leads the team in rushing, piling up 869 yards and five touchdowns on 196 carries. And in his only meeting against the Ravens on Nov. 16, 2008, Bradshaw averaged 10.7 yards on just nine carries, rushing for 96 yards.

That might not bode well for a Ravens defense that just surrendered 118 yards and one touchdown to the Denver Broncos’ Knowshon Moreno in last Sunday’s 34-17 loss.

Moreno became the fourth opponent to crack the 100-yard barrier against the Ravens this season and the second in as many weeks. That generosity has irked the defensive players.

“You want to keep a guy under 100 yards,” inside linebacker Josh Bynes said. “Knowshon did a good job and they did a good job offensively of executing what they wanted to do.

"But at the same time, defensively, we’re going to step our game up because this is a big week for us. We’ve got two good running backs in Bradshaw and [rookie David] Wilson, and those guys are going to come with their 'A' game. They’re short, but they’re physical and they’re going to go out there and do what they’re supposed to do.”

A sprained knee sidelined Bradshaw for the Giants’ 34-0 loss to the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday. He did not practice Wednesday, and New York coach Tom Coughlin wouldn’t say whether the starting running back would be available Sunday.

“I don’t really know yet,” Coughlin said during a conference call with Baltimore media Wednesday. “It’s early in the week. I know he wants desperately to play.”

On Monday, Bradshaw maintained that “a lot of things would have been different” if he was in the lineup against Atlanta, and Coughlin didn’t necessarily disagree.

“It certainly would have been a plus,” he said of Bradshaw. “He’s a fire-plug kind of guy that can get people going. He’s a very physical football player -- not only as a runner, but as a pass protector and blocker as well.

"The more players of that caliber you have on the field, the better of a chance you have.”

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