For the second time this season, a former teammate of Justin Tuck’s has called him out publicly for not being on the field. First it was Michael Strahan, who Tweeted during the Eagles game that Tuck – who was on the sideline having his neck looked at – needed to be playing. The two exchanged in some e-banter after the win and appeared to have put the issue behind them.
But today, Antonio Pierce questioned Tuck’s desire in an appearance on Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio (Pierce is an ESPN football analyst these days).
Here’s what Pierce, the former Giants defensive captain, had to say:
“The Giants need their guys out there. Justin Tuck, Brandon Jacobs, they already have enough injuries, but how long can you keep going throughout the NFL season without some of your top players? To me, if you don’t have an injury that needs surgery or that’s that severe, you need to be out there. I don’t want to question guys, but if you’re one of the leaders on the team which Brandon Jacobs and Justin Tuck are, and you say ‘You know what, the Seattle Seahawks, maybe we don’t need to play this game’ and you miss out, that’s what’s going to come back to bite you in the tail.
“You have to play every one,” Pierce added. “Every one is important.”
Tuck rolled his eyes when first alerted that Pierce had made a comment about him.
“What’d he say this time?” Tuck asked.
When told, Tuck did appear to be pleased.
“You tell Antonio he has my cellphone number if he has anything to say about me, about how I play the game,” Tuck said. And then he walked away from his interview session.
Tuck has missed three of the Giants’ first five games this season – three and a half if you count the time he spent on the sideline against the Eagles. He;s been dealing with the lingering effects of a preseason stinger for a month and a half and is also having an issue with his groin.