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Injured Tuck would have to adjust

Justin Tuck of the Giants on the sidelines

Justin Tuck of the Giants on the sidelines against the Detroit Lions at New Meadowlands Stadium. (Oct. 17, 2010) Photo Credit: Getty Images

Justin Tuck did not practice today. That’s not good.

The Giants still seem confident that he’ll be able to play on Sunday. And he probably will. But the fact that he’s still having issues with a stinger that happened last Monday and that the injury is to his neck, well, it’s quickly becoming a bit of an uh-oh situation.

If you want to know how serious neck injuries can be, just go ask Mathias Kiwanuka, Antonio Pierce or Peyton Manning. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Interestingly enough, when I spoke to Tuck last week for my article about his leadership role on the team, we spoke about injuries. He was very forthcoming about the 2009 season when he played with an injured shoulder and felt that he could not be the leader he wanted to be. He felt that he could not call guys out or even encourage them to practice harder or play harder when he himself was unable to do so.

That was in 2009 when other leaders were here, including Pierce. Now it’s pretty much Tuck’s team. He sets the tone for the defense.

“When I can’t play the game how I feel it should be played, it makes it hard for me to sit there and talk about someone else, whether that’s an injury or not,” Tuck told me last week. “I’m just one of those guys, I don’t like to talk about what should be expected from an NFL football player. All of us have tremendous talents and we all know how to play the game. It’s up to you what you do with that.”

I asked him directly, would he be able to be a leader on this team if he suffered an injury like in 2009.

“I would have to adjust,” he said. “It would be hard for me to lead by example when I can’t lead by example. But I would still try to be that teammate who would encourage and show guys what I see.”

Also worth noting in that interview is this quote: “I’ll be fine come Sept. 11.”


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