Broken leg sidelines Giants' Hampton NFC notes

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants rookie running LTC back Rodney Hampton, who started several games the second half of the season, will miss Sunday's National Football Conference championship game against the San Francisco 49ers because of a broken left fibula.

Hampton, who had rushed for 455 yards before yesterday's game, was taken to the locker room with 5 minutes, 7 seconds left in the first half.


"A couple of guys just fell on me," Hampton said after the Giants routed the Chicago Bears, 31-3, yesterday at Giants Stadium.

"I thought I sprained something and tried to play another play but couldn't put pressure on my foot," Hampton said. "The X-rays show that I fractured my fibula. I love playing the big games, but getting hurt in one is just the way things go. For me to come so far this season and for it to be over at this point is very disappointing."


Giants starting left cornerback Mark Collins also sprained an ankle yesterday, but he should be ready for the 49ers.

* The Giants pointed to two plays that turned the game around for them. The first came on quarterback Jeff Hostetler's 21-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Stephen Baker in the first period that gave the Giants a 10-0 lead.

The other was when reserve tackle John Washington beat Bears left tackle Jim Covert and then stopped running back Brad Muster on a fourth-and-goal at the 1 with 9:26 left in the first quarter.

"I think everybody got excited because of the type of offense the Bears run, we had just taken control of the game," Baker said.

Washington sprinted off the field after he tackled Muster. He finally stopped running around midfield.

"Those are the type of plays you dream about," Washington said. "I knew Covert was coming low, I just wanted to keep my feet and fill the gap. When I made the play, I just took off. It was about five minutes before I came back to earth."

* Giants coach Bill Parcells didn't want to pat himself on the back, so he did the next best thing: He complimented his players.

Parcells said the extra week helped New York dramatically, and if the Giants had two weeks to prepare for every team, they might be unbeatable.


"I know this may not sound right, but we have guys, that if you give us too much time to get ready, we're going to beat you," Parcells said. "We were really ready to play this game."

* Bears nose guard William "The Refrigerator" Perry had seven tackles yesterday, most of those in the first half.

"He's a load," Giants center Bart Oates said. "He must weigh about 365. And when he doesn't want to be moved, you're not going to move him."

* Bears coach Mike Ditka's summary of yesterday's game: "I wish I could be here under different circumstances. They beat us, but I didn't think they would be able to. I wish them all the best."