5 Injured Players the Giants Will Miss the Most This Year
The injury bug has been feverishly buzzing around the New York Giants this summer, leaving Big Blue with a dearth of able bodies on the defensive side of the ball.
Losing players is an inevitable part of the game, but the G-Men seem to be enduring a particularly rough summer. The defending Super Bowl champs will look to stay healthy and minimize the damage before kicking off the season September 5 against Dallas.
Take a look at the five shelved Giants who will be missed most in 2012.
CB Terrell Thomas
In 2010, corner Terrell Thomas emerged as New York's top coverage man, notching five interceptions and over 100 tackles. Thomas' pugnacious, hard-nosed style of play immediately won fans over in the Big Apple.
However, Thomas sustained an ACL tear in 2011's preseason, sidelining him for the entire year.
As the former second-round pick geared up for a return to the gridiron this summer, he re-aggravated his knee, hurling his 2012 into question.
While his Week 1 status remains uncertain, the Giants will miss Thomas from the get-go. It will ostensibly take a bit of time for Thomas to fully recover his agility and rediscover his aggressive edge, and the Giants can't afford a slow start in the secondary, facing top receivers Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Vincent Jackson and Steve Smith in the first three weeks of the season.
Thomas should find his way back on the field sooner than later, but in a secondary decimated by injuries, Big Blue can't afford to wait too long for his return.
DT Chris Canty
Headlining the rash of injuries along the Giants' interior defensive line is tackle Chris Canty, who has yet to return to action after undergoing offseason knee surgery.
Canty's opening night status seems far more cloudy than Thomas', and his presence in the middle will be sorely missed.
The eighth-year pro tallied a 1.09 win probability in 2011, good for eighth best in the league among defensive tackles. By comparison, popular Detroit Lion lineman Ndamukong Suh put up the same mark, while Pro Bowl Cowboys tackle Jay Ratliff compiled a .89 share.
The loss of Canty dampens a scintillant pass-rush unit for the Giants. Getting to the quarterback is Big Blue's defensive lifeblood, and losing a key component on the line will put subsequent pressure on New York's linebackers and D-backs.
While Canty will eventually suit up in 2012, his loss is a tough one to stomach here.
DT Marvin Austin
Marvin Austin's untapped potential is staggering, but it looks like he'll start 2012 on the Big Blue sideline.
Austin, a Freshman All-American at North Carolina, slipped to the second round of last year's draft due to alleged conduct issues. He spent all of his rookie season ensconced on the injured reserve, suffering from a torn pectoral muscle.
Now, he sits out with back problems, at a time when the Giants need all the able DTs they can get. Austin suffered a setback in his recovery this weekend.
With Canty out indefinitely, Austin's return to the action, whenever it may be, will be crucial for New York.
LB Michael Boley
Outside 'backer Michael Boley is "very concerned" about his lingering hamstring injury, and Giants fans are right there with him.
Boley is unlikely to play in the season opener against Dallas, forcing Keith Rivers, who last played pro ball in 2010, into a starting role. The Giants lose a considerable step on the edge without Boley, who recorded 93 tackles in 2011.
The Giants struggled with inconsistency in run defense last year, and without Boley in the fold early on, things could get rough. The G-Men are slated to face some of the league's most potent ground threats in preliminary weeks, including Carolina's Cam Newton and Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy.
CB Prince Amukamara
Cornerback Prince Amukamara seemed like the logical replacement for Terrell Thomas as the team's second cornerback, but after sustaining an ankle injury in Friday's preseason tune-up against the Bears, the G-Men are a little short-handed in the secondary.
Amukamara has taken the injury in stride, but the second-year cover man has no timetable for recovery.
Without Thomas or Amukamara, the Giants could have rookie Jayron Hosley man a starting spot.
If Hosley struggles to adjust to the pro level right off the bat, it could cost New York a game or two. Regardless, Amukamara and his first-round upside will be missed to start 2012.
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