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Kevin Gilbride says injuries have been a factor behind Giants' offensive struggles

David Wilson lays on the ground after missing

David Wilson lays on the ground after missing a pass in the first half of a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. (Oct. 6, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Kevin Gilbride didn't want to point to the injuries his offensive unit has suffered through this season as a reason the Giants have struggled. At least not directly.

"That sounds like an excuse," the offensive coordinator said. "But you don't have to be too intelligent to figure that one out."

Two positions in particular -- offensive line and running back -- have been hit hard this season. Those used to be points of stability for this team. The Giants have had six different players start in the backfield, including running backs and fullbacks. There were years when five offensive linemen would play the whole season. This week they could be turning to third- and maybe fourth-string players.

"I don't know numbers-wise, but it's been a challenge," Gilbride said Thursday when asked if this is the most injury-riddled season he's had to coach through. "This one, there's no question that's been a factor in our play and we just keep doing whatever we can do to adjust so we can still give our guys a chance this Sunday to win this game."

The Giants are coming off a shutout loss to the Seahawks, which came glaringly on a day when more points were scored in the NFL than any other day in history. They've been shut out twice this year, the first time that's happened since 1997. No other team in the league has been blanked in 2013.

And yet Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning and other players have expressed confidence in Gilbride and his philosophies.

"I certainly appreciate it and that's great," he said. "I think they know that we've won a lot of games over 25 years doing what we've done. But all I care about is now; what are we doing now and the struggles we're having now. What can I do to help this team succeed? That's my only focus."

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