Osi Umenyiora missed practices last week, the second time in three weeks knee swelling has sidelined him.
He should hope for more of that, given the way he played in notching three of the Giants’ 10 sacks on Sunday night against the Bears. He not only took apart Chicago’s replacement left tackle, Frank Omiyale, but he also slapped the ball out of Jay Cutler’s hand on a second-quarter strip-sack.
“I thought he was hurt, too,” defensive line mate Justin Tuck said. “He didn’t play like that.”
The performance was reminiscent of Umeyiora's six-sack terrorization of Eagles then-rookie tackle Winston Justice in 2007.
“Hey, I was just trying to catch up to our captain,” Umenyiora said, referring to Tuck’s three sacks.
After going into the game with just one sack, Umenyiora is now tied for the team lead with Mathias Kiwanuka, who is sidelined with a bulging neck disc but is hopeful of returning Sunday against Houston.
“With Osi, it could be any night,” Tuck said. “He’s one of those players with a tremendous amount of ability. [Defensive coordinator] Perry [Fewell] just let him loose and showed why he was a Pro Bowler and why he had six sacks in a game. He got back to his old form. We're gonna need him."
With Kiwanuka out, Umenyiora stepped up big in a game that could well be a season-turner.
“We all had to step up, period,” Umenyiora said. “We had to play a lot better than we’d been playing."