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Giants swing their concern from replacement refs to rusty refs

Referee Jim Core gets between Justin Tuck, Tony

Referee Jim Core gets between Justin Tuck, Tony Romo and Ryan Cook during the first half of a game at MetLife Stadium. (Sept. 5, 2012) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Now that the regular officials are returning to work, the Giants have new concerns about the way their game against the Eagles will be called.

“It’s still going to be an issue when the real guys come back,” Justin Tuck said yesterday when a deal to end the NFL’s lockout of its officials seemed close. “They are going to be rusty. They haven’t had a preseason to practice their craft. It would be like me coming to play a regular-season game, having not practiced or having a preseason game.”

Well, that’s basically what happened to Michael Boley this summer. And he leads the team with three interceptions. So maybe there’s something to be said for just jumping right into action.

Regradless of rust, this is what the Giants and many other NFL players have been waiting for since training camp began. Especially Victor Cruz, who back in August was among the first to voice concern over player safety and fairness.

“We just want to make sure we get the refs back out there and out there making the right calls," Cruz said after his first taste of replacement officiating in the preseason opener.

Cruz added then that when the officials did return, he'd have a new respect for them.

“I think that’s probably the first time that I’ll be happy to see a ref that I’ve seen last year,” Cruz said. “I’m going to shake his hand and say ‘Thank you for coming back, we appreciate it.’”

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