Tom Coughlin is hosting his Jay Fund Gala in Manhattan tonight, but you can almost hear him scrambling to come up with answers for the missing Mathias Kiwanuka in this statement just released by the Giants:
"Obviously, Kiwi is a big part of our plans," he said. "He's had a very good season. He's very flexible. He's a versatile athlete who can be used in a lot of different ways. So now we have to regroup and try to figure out how we're going to utilize our personnel for this game."
And beyond, of course. Kiwanuka might be out for the rest of the season. Then again, he might be back next week. Who knows? Neck injuries like this vary from patient to patient.
One of the issues with replacing Kiwanuka is that he did so many things that it will probably take more than one person to do it. As for Sunday, expect Jason-Pierre Paul to slide into his role at defensive end and Michael Boley to see more action at linebacker. Then again, they had Pierre-Paul at linebacker last week when he made a key play against Chris Johnson. Maybe eventually the first-round pick can take over the entire Kiwanuka repertoire.
Coughlin was asked if it is difficult to get news like this so late in the week.
"It is," he said, "because you put stock in the fact that it's not going to happen."
It's interesting to note that Keith Bulluck probably won't start at linebacker and looks to be replaced by Clint Sintim. And Osi Umenyiora missed practice today with knee swelling and is listed as questionable. So in a week when the Giants were toying with the idea of moving starting defensive players to special teams, they might end up having to move special teams players like Sintim and Pierre-Paul to starters.