Giants CB Ross out, four other starters 50-50 for game vs. Vikings

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Cornerback Aaron Ross will miss Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings because of a concussion, and the New York Giants have listed at least four other starters as 50-50 at best for what is a meaningless regular-season finale for the Super Bowl champions.

Tight end Kevin Boss (concussion-ankle) are listed as doubtful on the injury report, and halfback Brandon Jacobs (knee), offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie (back) and defensive tackle Barry Cofield (knee) are questionable.

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Ross, Boss and Jacobs didn't practice Friday, and Cofield was limited in his participation.

Linebacker Gerris Wilkinson, who has been sidelined for several weeks with a knee injury, also is out.

The Giants (12-3) have clinched the NFC's top seed for the playoffs, so they have nothing to gain against the Vikings (9-6), who are fighting for the NFC North title.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin has said the team will be smart with its injured players.

"We prepare like there is only one objective in mind and that is to win," Coughlin said. "We will do everything in our power to do that. As is true every week, the medical people will have a lot to say about what takes place and we will heed all of their advice and go play a game."

Ross suffered his concussion in Sunday's win over the Carolina Panthers in what linebacker Danny Clark referred to as "friendly fire."

"My head is still hurting sometimes, but as far as everything else, I don't know nothing," Ross said. "I haven't had a chance to do anything, so I don't know how far along I am. I have to listen to them. I have to get out of here, my head is still hurting."

Kevin Dockery will join Corey Webster as the starting cornerbacks.

"You definitely don't want to get the job because of injury," said Dockery, who replaced Ross last weekend. "But I get a chance to play the whole game. So I'm preparing myself to play 60 or 70 plays."

Boss was hurt twice on Sunday. He suffered a concussion after being knocked head over heels on a catch and landing on his face. His ankle, which has bothered him for weeks, was rolled after he made another catch later in the game.

Boss said he didn't have memory loss like Ross, but he admitted that he struggled when the team doctors asked him to count backward from 100 by sevens, noting he might not have been able to do that before the concussion.

"I am getting better," Boss laughed. "I am not sure what the final verdict will be, but I am making some improvement."

Boss got off to a slow start in a season where he became the starter following the offseason trade of Pro Bowl TE Jeremy Shockey. Boss now has 33 receptions for 384 yards (an 11.6-yard average) and six touchdowns, which leads the Giants' receivers.

"Coach (Kevin) Gilbride has called some plays for me down there to take advantage of my size, and I have just been fortunate to have some good play-calls and to get open," Boss said.

Mike Matthews and Darcy Johnson, who have combined for four catches, would replace Boss if he was inactive.

Jacobs practiced a bit earlier in the week, but he didn't participate Friday. His left knee has been bothering him since the third week of the season. He might be the one starter who definitely needs some rest after the pounding he takes with his bruising style of running.

If Jacobs doesn't play, it also would give Derrick Ward a better chance to join him as a 1,000-yard rusher.

Ward needs 52 yards to hit 1,000, which would make the Giants the fourth team in NFL history to have two running backs rush for the mark in the same season.

The last team to do that was the Cleveland Browns in 1985 with Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner.

Cofield was hurt against Carolina, while McKenzie has been bothered by back problems for weeks.

Jay Alford would fill in for Cofield if he can't go, and Kevin Boothe would replace McKenzie.

Defensive tackle Fred Robbins (shoulder) and defensive end Justin Tuck (lower leg) were listed as probable for the game.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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