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There's No Reason to Play Eli Manning This Weekend

With serious injury averted on Monday, there's no reason to push things against Steelers

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Eli Manning had a battery of tests to see if he suffered a concussion or other head injury when his helmetless face met Jim Leonhard's facemask on Monday night. Those tests were all negative but the Giants should still keep their quarterback out of the lineup against the Steelers this weekend.

    There are several reasons for that read on the situation. One is that hits to the head, even with negative test results, should be treated with the utmost concern for the player. There's also the cut Manning suffered on his forehead, a cut that could be reopened by wearing his helmet during practices or a game. It seems silly to risk more pain and discomfort for Manning in a game that doesn't mean anything in the standings and means even less for the quarterback.  

    Manning has nothing to prove during a half of football in August and there's nothing he needs to show the Giants before the season. It's good to get timing down and simply get out on the field but the Giants have two more preseason games to accomplish those tasks. Jim Sorgi and Rhett Bomar could use the work more than Manning, especially if they are ever going to be called upon during the regular season.

    The final reason has very little to do with the blow Manning took on Monday night. It has to do with the amount of injuries to the team's offensive linemen and tight ends and how it is forcing the Giants to patch together a blocking group in front of their quarterback. That group did not do a good job against the Jets on Monday, which is understandable but you need to be realistic when talking about Manning.

    We don't know yet if players like Rich Seubert, Chris Snee and Kevin Boss will be available for this weekend's game. If they are, it will be their first preseason action and they will likely need a bit of time to get used to the speed. If they aren't, you'll be stuck with the same mismatched group trying to block a good Steelers defense.

    Either way, it seems like a lot of risk to take with a quarterback who already dodged one bullet this preseason.  

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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