Thursday, October 6, 2011
Updated: October 7, 8:36 AM ET
Justin Tuck may rest until bye week
By Ohm Youngmisuk
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A frustrated Justin Tuck said he is "definitely" considering the idea of resting until the New York Giants bye week due to pain in his neck.
"I don't know, obviously that sounds like the smart thing to do," Tuck said when asked about resting until the Giants' bye during Week 7. "We'll see."
When asked if he is considering shutting it down until then, Tuck said, "yeah, definitely."
"I'd rather be healthy now," Tuck added. "But it's no guarantee if I sit out until the bye week that I will be healthy for the rest of the season. So you just have to go on how you are feeling on that day and that is why they call it day to day."
Tuck practiced on a limited basis on Thursday with a different facemask and shoulder pads in an effort to limit the pain in his neck. The defensive end said the new equipment also is to help combat against opposing players who are going after his neck area in an attempt to aggravate the injury.
Tuck, who also has a strained groin, played against the Rams and Eagles this season and he said that opponents tried to go after his injury.
"I played two games this year. ... I got facemasked in both," he said. "It is part of the game. I would say this, when you get an advantage, so you feel like you got an advantage over a situation, you try to exploit that and that's what teams are doing."
It's clear that the team's defensive captain is growing frustrated with the questions about his health.
Tuck, who typically will spend 15-to-25 minutes every Thursday talking to reporters, uncharacteristically cut his interview short after just three minutes, politely telling reporters to have a good day before walking off.
Coach Tom Coughlin said the team will see how Tuck feels after practice on Friday to gauge his availability for Sunday. Tuck flew with the team to Arizona last week but did not play against the Cardinals.
"I kind of leave that to the medical people," Coughlin said when asked about the possibility of shutting Tuck down until the bye week. "Justin wants to be back on the field. I know there's frustration when you start back and then you get a setback. We'll fight our way through it and hopefully without any major setbacks again. He moved around, he rotated in a little, in and out [of practice today]."
Tuck said his new shoulder pads are "tighter" so it "restricts your movement." The new facemask is to combat against opposing offensive lineman who want to grab it and yank it.
"We are trying to get people to not have as much surface to grab my facemask," Tuck said. "They did it before the neck [injury] but it is a little more amplified now."
"It is part of the game," Tuck added of opponents trying to go after injured players. "We all do it in some capacity."
Tuck suffered what was initially described as a "burner" during a preseason game against the Jets on Aug. 29. Tuck has repeatedly said that there is nothing structurally wrong with his neck but the pain hasn't improved.
In his last game against the Eagles, Tuck briefly left the game in the third quarter before returning.
"We'll have to see how he does after practice, tomorrow morning," Coughlin said about Tuck's status for the Seahawks game on Sunday. "Anytime you have a nerve involved, it takes time. It's very slow to come all the way back."
Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.