Pat Shurmur had more than a passing interest in Thursday’s Redskins-Cowboys game, it turns out. Shurmur watched most of the Cowboys’ victory, which will enable the Giants to move within two games of first place if they can knock off the Eagles on Sunday.
“I had a good day,” the Giants’ first-year coach said, two days after insisting he didn’t have a rooting interest in the Thanksgiving game.
During the telecast, Fox showed a graphic of the NFC East race. But the display only included the remaining schedule for the Cowboys, Redskins and Eagles. The Giants, winners of two straight games, were left out. But Shurmur maintained it didn’t bother him.
“The only thing we can control is what we do this week,” he said. “If we start doing the things we need to, then we’ll slide up.”
James Bettcher will take the trade-off. While he was obviously not thrilled with allowing 510 yards of offense to the Buccaneers in last Sunday’s victory, the Giants’ defensive coordinator was pleased with the four turnovers his unit produced.
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“I think all defensive coaches would probably say this: The most important stat in the game is the number of turnovers, and that’s been one of the most telling stories to winning percentages, is the turnover margin,” he said. “At the end of the day, creating turnovers, creating field position, getting some fourth-down stops, like we did in the game, and finding a way to get the ball into the end zone on defense is important, especially the way offenses are playing right now.”
As expected, defensive lineman Kerry Wynn (concussion) was ruled out on Friday. The Eagles will be without cornerbacks Jalen Mills (foot), Avonte Maddox (knee/ankle), and Sidney Jones (hamstring). All three players started in the first meeting against the Giants on Oct. 11. Philadelphia linebacker Jordan Hicks (calf) and running back Darren Sproles (hamstring) also are out. Cornerback Rasul Douglas (knee/ankle) is questionable. He didn’t practice all week.
The Giants re-signed kicker Marshall Koehn to the practice squad. He was with the team in training camp and for three days in October. Tight end Garrett Dickerson was waived. Shurmur said kicker Aldrick Rosas is healthy.