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Giants' Bradshaw out vs. Falcons

Giants' Bradshaw out vs. Falcons

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The New York Giants will play a critical game Sunday afternoon against the Atlanta Falcons without their leading rusher.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin confirmed that Ahmad Bradshaw will not play Sunday due to lingering knee and foot problems.

``It would have been a reach for him to be ready,'' Coughlin said of Bradshaw, who was spotted with his knee heavily wrapped and not participating in any football activities. ``I'm sure he's disappointed right now. With someone like that and his constitution, he thinks that come game day he'll be fine and be able to play. But medically, it was the only wise move to keep him out.''

Bradshaw, who has 869 yards and five touchdowns on the ground this season, has played through injury before. But the sprained knee the six-year veteran suffered Sunday in the 52-27 win over New Orleans did not recover in time for him to practice this week.

With the team already missing their second-leading rusher Andre Brown (out for the season with a broken fibula), the Giants will now turn to rookie David Wilson, who had a spectacular game against the Saints, as well as recent free agent signees Ryan Torain and Kregg Lumpkin, either of whom have yet to carry the ball this season for the Giants.

Coughlin was asked if Wilson, who rushed for 100 yards and had two touchdowns in the win over the Saints, could handle the majority of the carries in Bradshaw's absence and be a 20-carry back.

``I think he could be,'' Coughlin said of the first-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech. ``There's no reason why he couldn't be. Whether he will be or not is a different thing. We have a couple other guys who are going to help us in different ways, but I don't think there's any reason why he couldn't be (a 20-carry back).''

Wilson, who broke the team's single game record of all-purpose yardage with 327 Sunday and became the first player in the history of the NFL to get 200 yards in returns and 100 yards rushing, seems up for the challenge to become the team's No. 1 back.

``Maybe there's a little more anticipation and a little more excitement now,'' Wilson said, after being informed of Bradshaw's status. ``I think we all had a great week in practice and we're showing the coaches that we can get the job done. They shouldn't worry if I have to pull it together on Sunday.''

Both Torain, who rushed for 754 yards and four touchdowns with the Washington Redskins in 2010, and Lumpkin, who rushed for 105 yards in limited duty with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season, were also ready for their chance to contribute. They were both signed Nov. 27 as free agents and have been learning the Giants' offense together since.

``They've worked very hard at it since they've been here,'' Coughlin said. ``They have been in the classroom since they got here to catch up and they've done a pretty good job at it. They've been on other teams, so they know what to expect. Hopefully, if we can categorize how we use them, and their knowledge in that area is sufficient, they'll do fine.''

The Giants also said that cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring) and safeties Kenny Phillips (knee) and Tyler Sash (hamstring) will also miss Sunday's game against the Falcons.

Linebacker Michael Boley (back) is listed as questionable, but both Coughlin and Boley believe that he will be able to play against his former team.

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Trae Young joins Kobe Bryant in historic feat against Wizards

Trae Young joins Kobe Bryant in historic feat against Wizards

Following the passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant on Sunday, emotions were high. 

Many current and former players paid tribute to Bryant, including Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young, who dominated in the Hawks 152-133 win over the Wizards. 

He ended the night with a spectacular performance of 45 points, with 14 assists, making 13-of-24 FGs and 13-of-16 free throws as well as six 3-pointers, six rebounds and one assist. 

Young is the first player to have a 45-point double-double with under 25 field goal attempts against the Washington Wizards, since Kobe Bryant on December 17, 2006.

In honor of his mentor and favorite NBA player, Young wore a No. 8 jersey and took an 8-second-violation after the opening tip. 

He even wore his shoes with a tribute to Bryant as well. 

Young was able to channel his emotions into the game, leaving everything on the floor.

In an emotional night, Young was able to keep himself composed leading the Hawks past the Wizards. 

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Isaiah Thomas: NBA should have canceled games after Kobe Bryant's death

Isaiah Thomas: NBA should have canceled games after Kobe Bryant's death

The news of Kobe Bryant's death shook the sports world to its core, and while there were NBA games scheduled throughout Sunday, some felt the league should have canceled the games in light of the tragic news. 

Isaiah Thomas was one of them. 

"It's hard to even talk about it," Thomas said. "The NBA should have just canceled all the games because that put a dent in everybody's life that he's touched."

Thomas looked up to Bryant, admired him from afar and found his love for the game of basketball because of Bryant's greatness. Spending 20 years as a Laker, Bryant won five championships, an MVP and two Finals MVP awards to go along with 15 All-NBA selections and 18 trips to the All-Star game. 

For Thomas, his relationship with Bryant started to grow when he broke out as an All-Star in Boston. When Thomas suffered the tragic loss of his sister, they grew closer. After his hip injury that cost Thomas over a year of his career, Bryant supported him throughout. 

"I started basketball because of Kobe Bryant," he said. "2017, I lose my sister, 2019 I lose one of my best friends in Nipsey Hussle, and then to lose a mentor of mine, like, that's bigger than basketball, that [expletive] hurts.

"He was one of the people that was there for me and in my corner," he said. "And then I got injured, he was one of those guys that was there for me the whole time, helping me through mentally."

The NBA had a difficult decision to make on whether or not to cancel games since there were two games already in progress.

But before, during and after the game, everyone's thoughts were with Bryant and his family and not on a basketball game. Because as Thomas said, it's bigger than basketball. 

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