A last-ditch effort

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:25 AM ET

It has been a tough year to be a Canadian named Jesse at an NFL training camp, but at least Jesse Palmer still has a shot.

Unlike former McMaster University star Jesse Lumsden, cut by the Seattle Seahawks despite not seeing any game action, Palmer gets a last-ditch shot to prove himself.

The Nepean native, who has been a backup quarterback with the the New York Giants for four seasons, could be playing for his career in tonight's pre-season game against the New England Patriots.

Palmer, who has struggled at camp this summer, has landed in the doghouse of crusty coach Tom Coughlin.

So much so he has been surpassed by journeyman Tim Hasselback and has slipped to third on the depth chart. And tonight, Coughlin plans to give extensive playing time to Jared Lorenzen, a 275-pounder the New York media has labelled "J-load" and is a candidate to bump Palmer.

"Every time you play you see them in a different setting," Coughlin said when asked if he had seen enough of Palmer to make a decision on his future.

"So it is an ongoing thing and that's why I said I'd like to see all three of them play."

That trio does not include franchise player Eli Manning, who is nursing an elbow strain.

Coughlin said Hasselback and Lorenzen will be given the bulk of the work tonight with Palmer mopping up in the fourth quarter.

NFL teams must make their final cuts by Saturday at 6 p.m., trimming rosters to 53 players.

Palmer fell into disfavour with Coughlin following costly turnovers in pre-season games against the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns.

Coughlin called the interception against the Browns "a foolish, foolish turnover," which began speculation that Palmer's days in the Big Apple could be numbered.

In the Giants most recent game, the former Florida Gator's first play was an errant handoff to halfback Derrick Ward, which was recovered in the end zone for a Jets' touchdown.

A fourth-round pick by the Giants in 2001, Palmer started three games for the Giants late in 2003 when Kerry Collins was injured.

But when the Giants drafted Manning in the first-round the following spring, it was clear he wouldn't be the starter with the team.


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