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Injuries, and How They’re Handled, Have Changed the Game of Football

December 29th, 2012 at 9:00 AM
By Jen Polashock

Old school New York Football Giants can tell you stories of playing injured. No, seriously playing injured. Flashbacks of tight end Mark Bavaro playing with a wired jaw and linebacker Lawrence Taylor playing with his shoulder in a harness are just two of the prolific blue players that come to mind.

Times are different. While some do continue to play through their injuries, most don’t. Contracts and long-run availability are two of the leading possible reasons why guys are listed more as out and doubtful than questionable and probable. Sure, the injuries are a bit more complicated, but isn’t medicine more, umm, modern?

As for the Giants that have been playing on and off while hurt, quite a few of them have second opinions/consultations to visit and impending surgeries to book. Players that are starters will approach their decisions with caution as any long-term rehabilitation prescriptions could affect not only current as well as future contracts, but actual playing time. The “It’s a Business” aspect of football doesn’t dissipate because a team likes a player. Winning cannot wait. The Giants do, however, take a less cutthroat attitude with their men in blue. It won’t all be pretty, though.

Less than two years ago, the Giants had to part ways with the likes of huge fan favorites center Shaun O’Hara and guard Rich Seubert. The decisions weren’t popular, but needed to be made. General Manager Jerry Reese called it in his first days in the position, making mention of his upcoming plans to get rid of aging and injury-prone players. Don’t expect that to change now.

There are currently 11 players on Injured Reserve (IR) and another 10 listed on this week’s injury report. Of those 10, three are doubtful and three more questionable. Lots of “knees” and a few broken bones in there… Decisions, decisions.

Limping into the post-season isn’t the way to go (or win) and for lack of a better way to put it, it isn’t healthy (for the rest of the team). Head coach Tom Coughlin’s last few comments about finishing the season full of pride shouldn’t be misconstrued with quitting. Walking out with heads high instead of down in shame is another way of looking at it. The last few weeks have been stressful enough, why soak in that stench? Wash it off with an old-fashioned New York Football Giants smash-mouth game before the unpleasantness of a disruptive offseason shall begin. No?

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Tags: Football, Jerry Reese, Lawrence Taylor, Mark Bavaro, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Rich Seubert, Tom Coughlin

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18 Responses to “Injuries, and How They’re Handled, Have Changed the Game of Football”

  1.  Krow says:

    The real conundrum is players like Nicks. He’s in the top handful of WRs in the NFL when healthy. But when he’s not he’s barely more than a JAG. How do you structure your attack when one of the main weapons has injury issues? How do you build your offense around him when you know there’s a good chance he’ll be missing time or playing at less than 100%?

    If you were making a list it might include Bradshaw, Baas, Canty, Rivers, Phillips, Tuck, TT … all are often or chronically hurt. It’s got to be maddening.

    •  G-MenFan says:

      We have to also add Snee and Andre Brown to that list. Snee plays when he’s hurt but he struggles.

      As far as Nicks goes, this organization made the decision to draft and keep Barden. They are on the hook for his complete lack of development. He should by now be the downfield threat–the large physical target–if and when Nicks can’t go. It’s stunning to see Nicks ineffectually limping around the field knowing we’ve got a 6′ 7″ third-rounder in his 4th season handing out Gatorade. Icing on the insanity cake: TC was a Wide Receivers coach.

    •  nick86 says:

      YEah it will be interesting to see what happens between Cruz and Nicks. With Cruz taking a jump back in production and Nicks inability to stay healthy, it should make for some interesting negotiations.

      I wouldnt be suprised to see the majority of those players you listed gone next year or at the very least brought back at a reduced rate. .

  2.  Marques G says:

    I know every team has injuries its part of football but sometimes with this team it gets a little too crazy to almost comical at times, that list of injured players that Demo put up was insane.

  3.  James Stoll says:

    Last week the Ravens listed 18 people on eir weekly injury report (to our 11), and we all know the injuries their defense has suffered through all season.
    Still, they came out, played hard clean football and kick our ever luvin butts
    There is something far more problematic about this team than injuries
    This team quits way too often
    In 2010, following the Eagles debacle, they still controlled their fate heading into GB. What did they do? Rolled over like dawgs. This season, following Atlanta, still in control. Dawgs again. ’09? Following the second Dallas win they were in contol heading to Denver. Dawgs dawgs dawgs.
    Now of course there was ’07 and ’11, where after turning in long stretches of miserable football they somehow turned it around.
    But why they are the way they are is truly hard to fathom.
    Injuries are not the explanation for quitting.

    •  kujo says:

      I agree.

      There’s not a lot of fight, or tenacity, or that “F*ck the world” attitude, on this team. There aren’t any lunatics whose entire life depends on this game; we’ve got a bunch of well-adjusted, reasonably intelligent young men who know exactly how much money is in their bank account, and respond accordingly.

      That’s the problem right there–complacency. You heard is a few weeks ago when we started this rough patch. “Oh, we’ve been here before. Remember last year? How about 2007?” As if losing 5 or 6 of our last 8 games was part of the “plan” to get us to the Super Bowl each year. It’s bullsh-t.

      •  Krow says:

        Yeah, definitely. But injuries are still a factor. I don’t think this article was implying that it was the only one … or even the worst.

        But I do agree … there isn’t a lot of fight in this dog. And with Dog Killer coming to town it just might get put down. If we pull another gutless folderoo then it may deepen the upcoming off-season changes.

        Sometimes I look at the team … at the year … and I think “hey, the nucleus is there. We’re still the defending champs … till tomorrow anyway. We can get it right.” But other times I watch what happens on the field … and it’s hard to think they’ve got what it takes. It’s like they lost the magic … lost the passion. Going through the motions.

        Reese and TC have one hell of a puzzle on their hands. The off-season is going to be a bumpy ride.

        •  Marques G says:

          I’m still hoping that they can make something happen but maybe that’s just blind faith than anything else, cause what we have seen this second have of the season is very 2009ish, especially that last game against the Panthers and got blown out 41-9 knowing that if they won that game they were in the playoffs. I hope thats not the case.

  4.  demo3356 says:

    GmenMania says:
    December 28, 2012 at 6:24 PM
    Just saw on ESPN that Chris Mortensen was reporting that the Gianta will undergo a larger than normal transformation this offseason, regardless of whether they make the playoffs or not. He threw out Tuck and Osi as two names that could be gone next year.
    __________________________________________________________________

    EXACTLY WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING FOR ALMOST 2 MONTHS!
    This team is going to be a different team next season. Far too much complacency amongst these vets. Too many vets making too much and producing too little. This was bound to happen eventually.. Especially with JR locking up so many of our great young players during and right after the first Super Bowl Run in 2007-2008. Guys like Tuck, Snee, Diehl and Webster were just becoming stars and JR locked them up early. Now they are nearing the end of their respective deals and after 2 Titles, millions of dollars and endorsement deals, they are no longer producing at a high level. Its a sad but common reality that hits all great teams eventually. It is the job of the GM to NOT cut ties a year to late.

  5.  rlhjr says:

    HELLO……………… Tell me about it!!!

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