New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said he expects to play in the season-opener against the Washington Redskins with a neck injury that has limited his practice this week and left him “concerned.”
“I will be there on Sunday,” he said.
The Giants have lost five defensive players to season- ending injuries, and two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora is out for the next few weeks. They open their National Football League schedule at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, on Sept. 11.
“I am concerned but I am not panicked,” Tuck told reporters yesterday. “It is getting better, just not as fast as I want it to.”
Coughlin said that Tuck has undergone MRI testing and that the neck injury, which is not structural, is in a dangerous area.
“We’re trying to get it absolutely pain-free and it’s not quite that way,” Coughlin said yesterday. “That’s the obvious reason -- a setback and we have some issues.”
The Giants defense allowed 310.8 yards per game last season, the seventh-lowest total in the league. The unit has lost linebackers Clint Sintim and Jonathan Goff, defensive tackle Marvin Austin, and defensive backs Terrell Thomas, Bruce Johnson and Brian Witherspoon to season-ending injuries. Umenyiora will miss the next few weeks after having knee surgery.
Tuck, the Giants’ defensive captain and a two-time Pro Bowl selection, said he approaches this injury differently because it involves his neck.
“I have played through a lot of stuff, and hopefully I can play through this one,” he said.
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