Boley Injury Could Leave the Giants Weakened

December 26 [Mon], 2011, 18:18
In a season in which the Giants have dealt with numerous injuries to critical cheap jerseys players, defensive end Justin Tuck ― himself one of the afflicted this year ― offered a telling statement when asked late Sunday about middle linebacker Michael Boley’s potentially missing a game or more.
“It’s actually kind of funny,” Tuck said. “We were talking about who on this defense would it hurt to lose, and unanimously we talked about Boley.”
Tuck did not mean funny in a ha-ha way. In truth, the possibility that Boley, who tweaked his hamstring in the second quarter of the Giants’ loss to the San Francisco 49ers, could have an extended absence is an ominous development as the Giants move Football jerseys deeper into their formidable second-half schedule.
Coach Tom Coughlin, speaking on a conference call with reporters Monday, labeled Boley, who is second on the team with 59 tackles, as “day to day” but also indicated it was likely he would not play Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Speaking about potential replacements for Boley, a group that includes the rookies Spencer Paysinger and Greg Jones, Coughlin said, “The guys that are going to play will have an entire week of practicing.”
Coughlin was offering that as a positive, though even he would acknowledge that losing Boley long term would be a critical blow. Boley, a seventh-year player, has become the Giants’ only every-down linebacker and is responsible for communicating play calls to the rest of the defense. On Sunday against the 49ers, the Giants’ defense allowed 9 points in the first half, when Boley played, and 18 in the second half, when he didn’t.
“He’s basically the voice on the defense,” safety Kenny Phillips said. “Him going down was definitely big for us. He’s one of our top guys on defense. We had to throw some young guys into a position they weren’t necessarily ready for.”
There were other injuries to come out of Sunday’s game ― cornerback Aaron Ross is also day to day with a quad contusion ― and there are other players still working their way back from previous ailments ― running back Ahmad Bradshaw’s foot rehabilitation continues ― but Boley’s situation may be the most pressing. The 49ers appeared to focus on the Giants’ linebackers in their passing game, using short, cutting routes to force the linebackers into coverage, and without Boley that area may be even more exposed.
The Giants are set to face top quarterbacks like Philadelphia’s Mike Vick (pending his own injury situation), New Orleans’s Drew Brees and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers in the next three weeks, so a weakness in the middle could be glaring.
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