The Giants are in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC East, but they are more focused on being a word that Tom Coughlin carefully chose to describe the team after Sunday's win over Buffalo: relevant.

"It's always good to be [relevant] at this point and time in a season, looking at our start and to know that you're in the mix, you're in the hunt," Coughlin said on a conference call yesterday. "I chose that word to make them understand it's a word that puts you in position, but you're not there. You've got a long way to go, and that's the significance of that term."

The Giants, Cowboys and Washington are all 2-2. The Giants technically are in second place because of their head-to-head loss to Dallas, but they can lay claim to being the hottest team in the division with two straight wins.

Video from the Giants' locker room immediately after the victory over the Bills showed Coughlin addressing the team and talking about being relevant. Since then, several players have adopted the word and the sentiment.

"It's wide open," Jon Beason said of the NFC East. "It's still too early to say anybody is the favorite, which is a good thing. You start off 0-2, it's tough to stay in the race, especially when you lose a divisional game, but we're just excited to win this game, and now all the focus is on the 49ers."

Fells to IR

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The Giants placed tight end Daniel Fells on injured reserve with a staph infection that was discovered as he was being treated for a chronic ankle condition late last week. "It went from early in the week being a junky ankle to a serious situation," Coughlin said.

That leaves the Giants with three active tight ends. Coughlin said he'd like to add a veteran to the group if there are any decent options available.

As for his newest tight end, Stony Brook University product Will Tye, Coughlin said he did well despite dropping a pass.

"It wasn't too big for him," Coughlin said. "For the first time out of the box, he went out there and handled it well."

Giant steps

Giants videos

Ereck Flowers (ankle) is improving. "The trainers and the doctors felt that he was actually a little bit better right now than he was a week ago," Coughlin said . . . Coughlin said there is no update on the status of Victor Cruz, who is not expected back for another two to three weeks.