Like many of his teammates, New York Giants wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan missed some practice time last week due to a knee that ultimately led to him being listed as questionable for Sunday's game. But it wasn't the knee injury that nearly kept Jernigan out against the Detroit Lions — it was the flu.
"This is two games in a row he’s played really well, and to be honest with you, this week, he was injured and he was sick last night, so he keeps you right on the edge of your seat, whether or not he’s going to be able to go," head coach Tom Coughlin said after the game. "He bounced back and he’s a tough guy."
Not only did Jernigan bounce back and play through his stomach bug, he went on to have a career-best day, hauling in six receptions for 80 yards and his first career touchdown. Each of those numbers led all Giants' receivers, including Hakeem Nicks who was one again held scoreless.
But amidst the deserving postgame attention, Jernigan remained as humble as his quarterback often does. He took very little credit for his big game, nor the touchdown, saying the success is mostly that of Eli Manning.
“I had a little in route, pretty much read the coverage and when I came out I saw the linebacker, so I stopped and Eli saw me in that little hole. He threw a great ball to me," Jernigan said. "Either I was getting it or nobody else.”
Jernigan also credits his recent string of solid games to what he's learned from teammate Victor Cruz.
"I was at practice every day watching Cruz and taking tips from him and learning from him. That’s the best thing you can do and people are always saying that my time is now or I haven’t got my time, but I just take it as I’m out there practicing and learning from the best slot receiver in the game right now," he added.
Since taking over for Cruz in Week 15 against the Seattle Seahawks, Jernigan has 13 receptions for 147 yards and a touchdown. Not too shabby. Not too shabby, indeed.
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