Giants QB Eli Manning threw the ball an absurd 58 times against the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 22, 2012 as Big Blue won in overtime to reach the Super Bowl. Seven years later, it’s been revealed that Manning was in danger of missing the game.
According to David Carr, who was the Giants’ backup at the time, Manning had the flu all week and was unable to practice Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday as the game approached.
As Carr tells it:
“We roll into Friday, he’s still sick — can’t practice. He’s literally in the training room getting IVs all day. Has the flu for like four straight days. So I practice on Friday with the team. So now Eli hasn’t had any practice time, I’ve taken all the reps for the NFC Championship Game. He shows up on Saturday, looks fine, he goes through the walkthrough, go to the game. Everything is normal. No one knew. He didn’t practice all week.”
– SNY (@SNYtv) January 20, 2019
At one point during the game, while Manning was getting battered by the 49ers, Michael Strahan approached Carr and told him he should be ready to enter.
The above of course never happened, and Manning wound up completing 32 of 58 passes for 316 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions amidst the rain and mud at Candlestick Park.
Two weeks later, Manning helped lead the Giants to a 21-17 win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI while winning his second Super Bowl MVP award.