Landon Collins' season isn't over yet. But the end may be coming soon.
The Giants are still considering whether to shut down their star safety for the final three games after he re-injured his ankle on Sunday afternoon, according to interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo. Collins has been playing through a high ankle sprain since Week 5, and it he aggravated it on Sunday in the Giants' loss to the Cowboys.
Spagnuolo had already indicated on Monday that they might put the 23-year-old on injured reserve "to protect Landon from himself." On Wednesday, Spagnuolo promised the Giants will "do the right thing" for Collins, even though he clearly wants to play.
"We'll have to look at it," Spagnuolo said. "I don't know if he'll let us. Sometimes you got to protect these guys from themselves. But (he) didn't do anything today (at practice). We'll see tomorrow and then he would have to convince … look, I don't want him to go out there and get hurt any worse. We'll do the right thing."
Collins, who said his ankle is "sore", seemed to understand and appreciate that statement from his coach. But he also had a clear vision of what the right thing is for him.
"I'm going to be able to play on Sunday," he said. "So that's all that's key to me."
But what about what Spagnuolo said about protecting Collins from himself?
"Yeah, I asked somebody about that," Collins said. "I didn't know what that meant when he said it, and he kind of broke it down to me. It's a little bit of a compliment because for myself, and the competitor that I am, if I feel like I can play or I could do something, I'm going to do it. What Spags said I took as a compliment because I feel like I'm letting my boys down if I'm not on the field with them. And that hurts me more than anything."
Still, the Giants likely want to protect Collins because he's one of their best defensive players. For them it will be a business decision, even if for him it's something more.
"I look at it as: People recognize when I'm on the field," Collins said. "Even though I'm injured, at the same time I can still do something and make a difference and be a playmaker regardless. Just my presence on the field helps our defense as a whole."
Unfortunately for Collins, he hasn't been nearly the playmaker this season that he was one year ago thanks to what he said has been a "frustrating" battle with his health.
"It's been very frustrating for myself to deal with injuries," he said. "But it comes with the game. I hate it, but at the same time if I know I can be on the field and can play, I'm going to do it regardless."
At least he will if the Giants let him.
Meanwhile, in other injury news …
- OL Justin Pugh was in Los Angeles on Wednesday getting a second opinion on his injured back from Dr. Robert Watkins, a spine specialist. It is unlikely Pugh plays this Sunday, and he could land on injured reserve by the end of the week, too, regardless of the diagnosis. The Giants are hopeful that all Pugh's back needs is more rest.
- WR Roger Lewis (ankle) also missed practice, and his absence would be a huge blow to a receiving corps that is already dangerously thin. WRs Sterling Shepard and Travis Rudolph have both been dealing with hamstring injuries and Darius Powe was placed on injured reserve on Monday with a broken foot.
- CB Brandon Dixon (heel/hamstring), TE Rhett Ellison (finger), LB B.J. Goodson (ankle), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) and Rudolph were all limited at practice. DT Damon Harrison was excused.