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Jacobs confident, but wants one more day before deciding status

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- While he seemingly had no problem moving side to side and running forward during individual drills Wednesday, New York Giants halfback Brandon Jacobs wants to wait another day before saying whether he will play against the Arizona Cardinals this weekend.

"I feel good," Jacobs said. "The last time I had this injury I couldn't walk the next day and I was out for three weeks. This year it's just a nagging thing that's been there, but I don't think it will hold me out."

Jacobs, who is 121 yards shy of his second straight 1,000-yard rushing season, tweaked his left knee in the first half of the Giants' 30-10 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

An MRI exam showed no structural damage.

"There is no pain and I don't feel restricted," Jacobs said.

Jacobs, who missed three games last season with a sprained knee, plans to test his knee in the team portion of the Giants' practice on Thursday. He was disappointed coach Tom Coughlin did not let him practice Wednesday.

"It's tough, but I know the reason they are doing it," Jacobs said. "I'm not necessarily hurt or anything that I couldn't get out there and practice, which I could have if I needed to. But it's precautionary and I'll get out there tomorrow and we'll go from there. I don't know much about further than tomorrow but I know what I'm going to do tomorrow."

If Jacobs can't play, the Giants have two outstanding backups in Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw. Ward has gained 531 yards on 100 carries this season. Bradshaw has 301 yards on 45 carries, including 96 against the Ravens, who were the NFL's top-ranked run defense last week.

"I have a lot of confidence," Jacobs said of Ward and Bradshaw. "I don't think we'll miss a beat. We'll do the same thing. We have a stable full of stallions and they are off and running."

Both Ward and Bradshaw expect Jacobs to play after watching him catch passes from punter Jeff Feagles during the individual drills.

If they are wrong, both intend to be ready to handle the increased workload when the Giants (9-1) return to University of Phoenix Stadium, where they won the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots in February.

"I practice and prepare myself like I'm a starter every day," Ward said. "I've proven to everybody that I could do it from last year, so I don't think it would be a big adjustment."

Ward gained 154 yards rushing against Chicago last season when Jacobs was sidelined by a hamstring injury.

Bradshaw has spent much of this week taking grief from his fellow running backs after being caught from behind on a 77-yard run on Sunday.

"With Brandon we are a great team," Bradshaw said. "I don't take anything from him. If I am able to get more touches, I plan on taking advantage of it."

The Giants are averaging an NFL-best 172.7 yards per game rushing, gaining at least 200 yards in each of the last three games. They have rushed for at least 200 yards five times.

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said the Giants will be formidable even without Jacobs.

"I think that you can take either one of those three backs and they can hurt you, so we are concerned enough with all three of them that if Jacobs does not play it won't make any difference," he said.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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