7 New York Giants Who Cannot Get Hurt in 2012

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IJuly 25, 2012

7 New York Giants Who Cannot Get Hurt in 2012

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    Every team in the NFL goes through injuries; it's impossible not to.

    The New York Giants know this very well, as they have suffered their share of injuries over the years.

    Some have changed the team's plans and altered their plans, while the Giants have somehow been able to overcome other injuries.

    Plaxico Burress' gunshot wound to the leg back in November of 2008 was a devastating injury which changed the Giants offensive game plan and attack, which led to a 1-4 finish including a playoff loss to the Eagles.

    Last season, the biggest injury the Giants suffered was the season-ending loss to Terrell Thomas in the preseason due to a torn ACL.

    Despite Thomas' injury, the Giants still managed to overcome it, got stronger as a unit in the second half of the season and ended up winning Super Bowl XLVI.

    Which players on the Giants team can they not afford to lose due to an injury in 2012?

    Here's a look at seven New York Giants players who cannot suffer any serious injury.

Steve Weatherford

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    The Giants cannot afford to lose their punter.

    Yes, you heard me right on that one. Steve Weatherford cannot get hurt for the Giants.

    Weatherford was a major upgrade over Matt Dodge, who was an absolute bust in 2010, and did a terrific job as the punter for the Giants.

    He was very similar to Jeff Feagles, who may be the best punter to ever play in the NFL and turned his kicking into an art form, pinning teams inside their own 20-, 10- and 5-yard lines.

    Weatherford knows how to play the field position game, which makes him so vital to the Giants special teams unit.

Justin Tuck

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    Justin Tuck is a big reason why the Giants defensive line is so fearsome.

    After his emergence in 2007, Tuck has had a bullseye on his back, as he's a defender teams look out for and need to block all the time.

    In 2011, Tuck was out for four games due to injuries, which is why he only had five sacks.

    During Super Bowl XLVI, Tuck had another strong playoff game, sacking Tom Brady twice in key spots—one resulted in a safety in the first quarter, and the other came late in the fourth quarter.

    Tuck is so important because he can play end and tackle, using his speed and power to get through the line and to the quarterback.

Jason Pierre-Paul

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    Jason Pierre-Paul has transformed into a star for the Giants defense.

    He had 16.5 sacks in 2011 for the Giants defense, which led the team, and it also led to offensive coordinators planning how to try and stop No. 90 more often.

    His blocked field goal against the Cowboys in early December was a season-changer—a game that helped save the Giants' season and get them back on the winning track.

    JPP has such raw talent, and he's just learning how to become an overall good football player. On talent alone, he's a great player.

    But once he puts the whole package together, JPP has the chance to become one of the best defensive ends to ever play in the NFL.

    JPP is a huge reason why the Giants' defensive line is so feared.

Osi Umenyiora

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    Do the Giants need Osi Umenyiora? You bet they do.

    If they didn't, Jerry Reese wouldn't have bothered restructuring Osi's contract to make him a much happier player entering the 2012 season.

    Of the three defensive ends, Osi is the oldest and tends to be forgotten, especially with presence of Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul.

    However, make no mistake about it, Umenyiora is a huge reason why opposing offenses have to double- and triple-team the ends coming after the quarterback.

    In 2012, Umenyiora only played in nine games and had to deal with injuries throughout the season. He was fine in the second half and recorded 3.5 sacks in the playoffs for the Giants.

    The Giants need Osi to be healthy in 2012 because he makes their defensive line that much more deadly to guard against.

Chris Snee

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    I have always been a firm believer that the best offenses start with the offensive line.

    Without a great line, the team goes nowhere.

    The Giants line has gone through some changes with having newer players on it and some shifting over to different spots.

    But the one constant in the line that has remained in the two Super Bowl squads has been Chris Snee.

    Snee is their starting right guard and the Giants best offensive lineman on the team. He can pass block and run block very well and has been able to do so since he took over as a starter.

    If David Diehl, Kevin Boothe and David Baas got hurt, the Giants could manage their injuries.

    Losing Snee would be absolutely devastating to the Giants offensively and would be very hard to recover from.

Victor Cruz

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    Hakeem Nicks is recovering from a broken foot, although he's expected to be back for the start of the 2012 season.

    Even if Nicks is healthy, that kind of injury could linger on during the season, and I wouldn't be surprised if Nicks had to miss a game here and there because of it.

    This is where Victor Cruz steps in.

    Cruz cannot get hurt; the Giants need him healthy in the offense.

    Cruz emerged as a top target in 2011, catching 82 balls for 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns during the season.

    He gave the Giants a second legitimate playmaker at wide receiver and really opened up options for their passing attack.

    So even if Nicks does stay healthy and plays most of 2012, that doesn't change the fact that Cruz needs to he healthy.

    If Nicks and Cruz were both hurt, the Giants offense would be in major trouble.

Eli Manning

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    This is the biggest one. This kind of injury would change the entire season.

    If Eli Manning ever got hurt for any serious time, the Giants' season would be in real danger.

    With him on the field, the Giants have a chance to win every single game. Even if they're losing by a certain amount, as long as the game isn't out of reach, it's never over with Eli.

    Manning knows how to win games. It might not be pretty at times, but winning doesn't have to be pretty.

    Since taking over as a full-time starter, Manning has turned the Giants into a playoff contender every year, which is why his worst seasons as the full-time starter have never been worse than 8-8.

    Without Eli, the two Super Bowls would not have happened.

    Eli Manning is really the one Giants player who absolutely can never get hurt if the team wants any chance of winning.