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D-line coach was hoping to have Kiwanuka back as recently as yesterday afternoon

New York Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka (94)

New York Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka (94) reacts after sacking Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young during the first quarter of an NFL football game. (Sept. 26, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

The news that Mathias Kiwanuka is being placed on injured reserve today shouldn’t really be shocking. He’s missed the last four games with a herniated disc in his neck and even though he was very optimistic about a quick return to action – he suggested at one point he might only miss one game – the shadow of injured reserve has always been there for him.

But as recently as yesterday afternoon, the Giants were hoping to have Kiwanuka back at some point. At least his defensive line coach was.

“I’m certainly hopeful for him to be back,” Robert Nunn said on Wednesday when he addressed the media. “They certainly haven’t told me he’s not going to be back. I’m hoping at some point we’ll have him back in there.”

Nunn did say that playing without Kiwanuka these past four weeks has forced the Giants to make some changes, and those changes have worked out. Like using three safeties and having Deon Grant play linebacker. Essentially the Giants used to have a defensive end playing the linebacker spot. Now they have a safety doing it.

“We’ve got some guys in there so we can do a couple of different things,” Nunn said. “With Kiwi, we probably would have gone a different direction because he certainly brings a lot to the table. But with him being unavailable we’ve gone in a little bit different direction. Hopefully some point we’ll have his services back.”

Nunn was convinced that if Kiwanuka did come back, he’d have a place on the field.

“It’ll be a good problem to have,” he said. “We’d love to have him back. He brings a toughness to the table. Very physical player and very tough player. He was off to a great start.”


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