EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Heading into the bye week, the banged-up New York Giants are surprisingly in first place in the NFC East with much-needed reinforcements seemingly on the horizon.
Defensive captain Justin Tuck, Pro Bowl guard Chris Snee, first-round draft pick Prince Amukamara, backup running back Brandon Jacobs and receiver Ramses Barden all might be ready to return when the Giants (4-2) face the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 30.
Tuck guaranteed Sunday that he would be back after missing three straight games with neck and groin injuries, and Snee also felt he would be ready to go after sitting out Sunday's 27-24 win over the Buffalo Bills.
Amukamara (broken foot), Jacobs (knee) and Barden (ankle) are a little more iffy, but they are close as the Giants prepare to embark on a frightful five-game run that includes games at New England, at San Francisco, Philadelphia, at New Orleans and Green Bay after the game vs. Miami. That's a combined 22-8 record.
"I think it will be a nice boost in the arm," coach Tom Coughlin said Monday. "I don't know exactly when the individuals will be cleared, but hopefully we'll be in a position where they are ready to go when we're talking game week and we get closer to our next opponent."
While they are in first place, the Giants have a lot of areas that need to be fixed heading into the final 10-game stretch if they are to get back to the playoffs for the first time in three years.
"Do I think it is a finished product," veteran offensive lineman David Diehl asked Monday. "No. I know that we have the attitude that we are going to continue to work and make sure that it becomes one of the strengths of our offense because it needs to be."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press