New York Giants: Injuries Might Kill the Big Blue's Once-Promising Season
Injuries are starting to derail what once was a very promising season for the New York Football Giants. The offense of the Giants has been especially hard hit by injuries.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Giant fans recently learned that they might be without star wide receiver Hakeem Nicks for at least three weeks, and possibly more.
The following slideshow is a breakdown of key players that are currently injured, what their injury is and how it is impacting the Giants.
Hakeem Nicks, Wide Receiver
Nicks was in the midst of a breakout season when he was injured this past week against the Philadelphia Eagles. Nicks sustained a nasty hit on his leg which resulted in Compartment Syndrome.
What this is means is that Nicks' lower leg started to swell out of control, and if not treated quickly could have resulted in long term nerve damage.
To fix the problem Nicks underwent an emergency fasciotomy, which basically means they carved a big hole in his leg to relieve the swelling. Once the swelling subsists they will perform a skin graft to cover up the gaping wound on the leg created to relieve the pressure. Sounds like fun, huh?
Anyway, some have said Nicks will be out three weeks. I think it will be longer than that, but I am not a doctor.
The absence of Nicks is a huge blow to the Giants' offense, who are down to Mario Manningham and tight ends Kevin Boss and Travis Beckum as the only somewhat reliable pass catchers left.
Nicks’ injury might be the straw that breaks the back of the Giants' season, it is that big of a deal.
Steve Smith, Wide Receiver
Smith was clearly the No. 2 wide receiver when he went down, a step down from last season, but his value was still clear. Smith is a young man, but provides a needed veteran style presence for the Giants offense.
He is one of, if not the best possession wide receivers in the league and his abilities out of the slot are also elite.
For what Smith provides, perhaps only Wes Welker is better in the same area.
A lot of Giants drives that would have resulted in points with him because of his abilities on third down now stall into punts without him.
Smith partially tore his pectoral muscle, and if his recovery does progress well, it is entirely possible the Giants could shut him down for the season. Smith isn’t the star that Nicks is, but he is the glue that keeps the offense together.
Shaun O’Hara, Center
O’Hara is not the elite center he once was, age is slowing him down. But he is still a valuable veteran presence who does an excellent job of making the players around him better. While Rich Seubert has done an admirable job filling in for O’Hara, it’s not the same thing.
O’Hara might not play another down for the Giants this season as his injury is an especially complicated one. O’Hara suffered a lisfranc sprain, and the recovery time is wildly unpredictable. It could take three weeks, it could take 10 weeks and in some cases can even last longer than that.
Sadly for the Giants and O’Hara, it seems like it might be closer to the 10-week mark.
David Diehl, Left Guard/Left Tackle
Before suffering an injured hamstring, Diehl had never missed an NFL game in his eight-year career. Diehl is an ironman, so his presence on this list is somewhat surprising.
Whether at left tackle or left guard, Diehl will start for the Giants the moment he gets back, which hopefully comes soon as he is rumored to be a possible play against the Jaguars next week.
While Shawn Andrews has done an amazing job filling in for Diehl at left tackle, the left guard position has been left barren as Rich Seubert has moved to center to cover for the injury of Shawn O’Hara.
This leaves a gaping hole at left guard, and even if Andrews' bad back becomes balky again, I expect that the Giants would put William Beatty in at left tackle and put Diehl in at left guard.
Either way, with Diehl out the left guard position has been a total sieve since he went down.
Mathias Kiwanuka, Defensive End Hybrid Linebacker
Kiwanuka was in the midst of a career year with the Giants when he suddenly disappeared. Just like Antonio Pierce last year, Kiwi suffered a disc injury in his neck and just like Pierce, it has been slow to heal.
This resulted in the Giants finally putting Kiwi on the injured reserve, and since this is Kiwi’s last year of his rookie contract this might be the end of his Giants career.
While the Giants' pass rush has survived without him, it still boggles the mind that he, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre Paul would be doing together right now.
The idea of putting the four of those guys on the field together at the same time, it could have helped the Giants' consistency on defense, which has been a bit shaky recently.
While not starters, the following players provided depth as valuable contributors, but are currently injured:
Ramses Barden, Wide Receiver
On injured reserve with a busted foot, sorely missed right now with Smith and Nicks hurt.
Adam Koets, Interior Lineman
Koets provided excellent depth and would have done a good job of playing either center or left guard without Diehl and Seubert, but his season ended and the line has devolved without him.
Sinorice Moss, Wide Receiver
A goat in the eyes of Giant fans, but whenever he got on the field he produced. His presence is missed right now.