Steve Smith returned to action this Monday against the Minnesota Vikings, a welcome sight for the New York Giants as he had missed the previous four games with a pectoral injury.
And just like that, he's back on the bench.
An MRI revealed that Smith suffered cartilage damage to his left knee after an awkward tackle, and early reports say he's gone for the rest of the season.
While much of Big Blue Nation is in panic mode, I'm here to tell you that the Giants will be just fine.
Despite losing one of their most dependable receivers for the rest of the season, the Giants are okay.
Here's 10 reasons why they will continue to win.
After missing two games with a leg injury, the Giants most productive receiver returned to the lineup Monday and didn't disappoint.
Nicks registered seven catches for 96 yards, and he's one of the biggest reasons why the injury to Steve Smith won't doom the team.
He's had a huge break out year as he's emerged as one of the best receivers in the NFL. With 69 catches for 896 yards and nine touchdowns to his name this season, Eli Manning has been able to rely on Nicks' game in and game out.
Nicks has great hands and is a YAC monster. The first tackler rarely gets him to the ground which forces corners to play him tight, opening him up for post routes.
Without Nicks, who knows where the Giants would be. He will make the loss of Smith much easier to stomach.
One of the most pleasant surprises for the Giants this season has been the emergence of Bear Pascoe.
The reserve tight end was pressed into duty as a fullback after Madison Hedgecock went down with an injury, and he's failed to disappoint.
Though he's been used primarily as a blocker for most of the season (and a great one, at that), Pascoe has shown the ability to catch passes out of the backfield.
The past two weeks have seen him catch two passes for 21 yards in each game, and now that Smith is lost for the rest of the season, he should find himself targeted even more by Manning.
His 6'5", 251-pound frame means he takes hits and stretches for first downs.
Smith was one of the most reliable third-down receivers in the league, so expect to see Pascoe making bigger contributions as a check down option for Eli when the team needs a fresh set of downs.
Ever since being drafted in the third round out of Wisconsin in 2009, the Giants have envisioned Travis Beckum as a tight end who can stretch the field and make plays in the passing game.
With Smith heading to the bench, it's time for Beckum to step up.
He's shown flashes this season in limited action, but his playing time should increase as the Giants look for new targets to make up for lost production.
Beckum has been productive in the red zone this season with two touchdown grabs from inside the 5-yard line, so it's clear that he can hold his own when the field shortens.
Expect No. 47 to capitalize on his opportunity for the rest of the season as he uses his rare combination of size and speed to contribute offensively.
Though the Giants' offensive line has been a patchwork unit all season, they have managed to sustain one of the best running games in the NFL while keeping their quarterback upright.
As the starters begin to come back to the lineup and assume their traditional positions, the line can only get better.
David Diehl returned last week and, although he had a tough matchup in Jared Allen, he managed to put forth an admirable effort for someone who had missed as much time as he did.
Shaun O'Hara and Shawn Andrews were both back on the practice field this week, and it looks like they will be available for the divisional matchup with Philadelphia this weekend.
With Smith gone, the Giants will lean even more heavily on their vaunted rushing attack, and it's imperative they have their full complement of offensive linemen.
A major part of that explosive rushing attack has been Brandon Jacobs. Since being named the starter Week 12 against Jacksonville, Jacobs has carried the ball 36 times for 306 yards, good for a monstrous 8.5 yards per carry average.
He's hung onto the ball all season, losing only one fumble, and he's running the ball with authority.
The downhill, bruising style that seemed all but lost last season has come back with a vengeance.
In order for the Giants to overcome the loss of Steve Smith, Jacobs has to continue to be a force with the ball and tire out defenders for Ahmad Bradshaw.
If he can continue his electric play, the Giants will be just fine.
The other half of that powerful rushing offense has been Ahmad Bradshaw.
Since losing his starting job in Week 12 due to a serious case of fumblitis, No. 44 hasn't fumbled once and has been running with some serious authority.
Despite losing the starter tag, Bradshaw has continued to get most of the carries.
On the season, Bradshaw has piled up 230 carries for 1,116 yards and eight touchdowns as he's established himself as one of the most dangerous runners in the league.
He experienced a minor wrist injury in the game against Minnesota, but it's not expected to sideline him or slow him down.
The impact of Smith's injury will be lessened due to the running of Bradshaw.
Perhaps the Giants' biggest asset this season has been their defensive line. Despite an early season-ending injury to Mathias Kiawanuka, a player who had 4.0 sacks through the first three games, the line has been positively dominant.
To understand their dominance, let's look at the numbers.
Osi Umenyiora: 10.0 sacks and eight forced fumbles.
Justin Tuck: 8.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss and six forced fumbles.
Jason Pierre-Paul: 4.0 sacks, four passes defensed and four forced fumbles.
Barry Cofield: 4.0 sacks, three tackles for loss and one forced fumble.
Quite simply, they dominate every game and take a tremendous amount of pressure off the offense.
A team with a lesser defense would be devastated by the loss of a starting receiver but not the Giants. They'll be just fine with 2010's version of the New York Sack Exchange keeping points for the opposing team to a minimum.
While the D-Line gets much of the praise in New York, the secondary has been just as good.
They are letting up only 185.6 passing yards per game—the second best mark in the NFL.
Terrell Thomas has been leading the charge with 19 passes defensed, five interceptions, three forced fumbles, three tackles for loss and a sack to his name.
The rest of the unit has been playing great as well, with additions like Deon Grant and Antrel Rolle meeting and exceeding preseason expectations.
Just like the defensive line, the secondary's exemplary play has helped to hold down opposing offenses, allowing the Giants offense find their rhythm and score points at their own pace.
The impact of Smith's absence in the passing game will be minimized if the secondary can continue to hold down opposing offenses.
It seems like every year the Giants have to deal with some sort of injury.
In 2007, the Giants lost Jeremy Shockey in Week 15, and they still managed to win the Super Bowl.
In 2008, the Giants lost Osi Umenyiora to a preseason knee injury. Just before a Week 13 matchup with Washington, New York, on their way to a likely reappearance in the Super Bowl, lost their top receiver Plaxico Burress to an infamous self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Even last year saw the Giants lose starting linebacker Antonio Pierce for most of the year, so this team is used to dealing with adversity.
The backups are all well-accustomed to playing starters minutes, and Tom Coughlin is a wizard when it comes to plugging guys in to fill the void.
Derek Hagan has shown flashes. Expect him to feature more prominently in the passing game as the Giants overcome yet another injury.
The Giants upcoming schedule features a pivotal home matchup with Philadelphia, an away game at Green Bay and a soft cushion to break any potential fall in Week 17 against the Redskins.
Even if the Giants lose their next two games, a win in Washington on the last Sunday of the season would leave New York at 10-6 which should be more than enough to earn them a spot in the playoffs.
All in all, it seems clear that the Giants have the manpower and the talent to overcome the loss of Steve Smith. Expect Big Blue to roll into the playoffs despite this loss.
Mike Osterberg is a student at Penn State University and Featured Columnist for the New York Giants. Follow him on twitter @Mike_Osterberg.