Sunday, October 2, 2011
Justin Tuck out; Osi Umenyiora active
New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck was inactive Sunday due to lingering neck and groin injuries while defensive end Osi Umenyiora made his 2011 season debut after undergoing knee surgery this summer, finishing with two sacks in a 31-27 win.
Tuck tested his injuries in pregame warm-ups, but his mindset going into Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals was that he would not play.
"We kind of knew that we were going to need a miracle when I flew out here," Tuck said after the game. "I know I said that if I flew out here I would play, but I wanted to be out here with my teammates and help them and show a little leadership."
As for Umenyiora, some teams around the league are monitoring him to see whether it would be worth their time to pursue a trade for the former Pro Bowl defensive end who wants out of New York.
Jason Pierre-Paul started in place of Tuck at left defensive end. Umenyiora started at right defensive end. Entering the game, Pierre-Paul had 4½ sacks this season starting at right defensive end in place of Umenyiora, who missed the first three games while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery back on Aug. 19.
Tuck did not practice Wednesday or Thursday before going through a limited practice Friday because of a strained groin and pain in his neck. The defensive end has been battling the neck issue since the preseason.
"It wasn't right," said Tuck, who would not reveal whether the groin or neck injury was the main reason for him not playing. "I kind of knew yesterday but I was still wishful thinking hoping that I have some heroic powers. It just didn't improve. I didn't want it to be a situation where you get in the Philadelphia game where I am not able to help the football team and take a roster spot."
Tuck not playing was a change in his previous stance that if he made the flight to Arizona he would play against the Cardinals.
"Well if I get on that plane going to Arizona, I am playing," Tuck said on Thursday. "Honestly, they are trying to buy some time here. The less I can do, the less it will be aggravated. We are just buying time."
Tuck said he was not at the point where he has to see a specialist but the defensive end expressed concern again about his neck.
Umenyiora practiced on a limited basis all week.
Giants long snapper Zak DeOssie, who had a back issue last week, also was active. The Giants inactives were running back Da'Rel Scott, offensive guard Mitch Petrus, offensive tackle James Brewer, wide receiver Michael Clayton, cornerback Prince Amukamara, Tuck and wide receiver Brandon Stokley.
Arizona running back Beanie Wells was active after sitting out last Sunday's loss at Seattle with a sore hamstring.
Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, ESPNNewYork.com Giants reporter Ohm Youngmisuk and The Associated Press was used in this report.