Eli Manning said he won’t be sidelined for long after suffering a bloody three-inch gash in his forehead during the New York Giants 31-16 win over the New York Jets to open their preseason and the team’s new stadium.
The Giants’ starting quarterback left the game with blood streaming down his face after his helmet was knocked off during a botched second-quarter play. He needed 12 stitches and was sent home by the team’s medical staff after showing no signs of a concussion.
“I feel fine,” Manning said before leaving the new Meadowlands stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. “I’ll be back as soon as I can. It’s really not an injury. Nothing serious. I really feel like I could go back out and play right now if I had to.”
The Giants scored three second-half touchdowns to overcome a 16-10 deficit after Manning left the game. His replacement, Jim Sorgi, threw touchdown passes of 64 and 34 yards to Victor Cruz. Manning connected on 4-of-8 passes for 77 yards.
Most of the Jets starters played until halftime, with quarterback Mark Sanchez completing 13-of-17 passes for 119 yards, with one touchdown and an interception. His first pass of the game was tipped and intercepted, setting up the Giants’ first touchdown.
While home to both the Jets and Giants, the exterior of the $1.6 billion stadium was lit in green instead of Giants blue because the Jets were the designated home team. The Jets said 67,511 tickets were distributed for the game, which marked the first time since the 1983 season that the Jets and Giants have met for their opening preseason game.
LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 17 yards on eight carries in his Jets debut, while Shonn Greene ran five times for 26 yards. It was the first game for the Jets since they lost in last season’s conference championship, while the Giants ended their 2009 campaign with two straight losses and an 8-8 record.
Manning was injured on a play in which he collided with Giants running back Brandon Jacobs.
Manning’s helmet came off as he was hit from behind by Jets linebacker Calvin Pace. Manning’s head snapped back and then appeared to get caught on the facemask of Jets safety Jim Leonhard as it came forward.
As blood dripped from his face, Manning held his hand to his forehead and signaled to the bench.
“The play was my fault,” Manning said. “We had a run play with an option to throw a fade that I thought I might try, but Brandon was coming right up the middle. Sometimes you make a mistake and you get hit in the head. It’s preseason. You learn from it.”