Monday, November 30, 2009

Here's The Release

Here is the Giants' official press release regarding the IRing of defensive captain Antonio Pierce, complete with Pierce and Tom Coughlin quotes.

Antonio Pierce Placed on Injured Reserve
By Michael Eisen
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants must play the rest of the season without their defensive captain.

Middle linebacker Antonio Pierce today was placed on injured reserve, officially ending his 2009 season. Pierce, who was leading the Giants in tackles for the fourth consecutive season, was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his neck on Nov. 20. The Giants said then that Pierce would be sidelined indefinitely. But the team believes Pierce’s neck injury will not improve enough for him to return to the field this season.

“The doctors have told me that given my current condition, the risk of playing is too great, regardless of how I feel physically,” Pierce said. “That is the most disappointing part of this, because I feel great and have no pain. But I will keep my head up and be there the rest of the way to do my part to keep the boys going.”

“He’s certainly going to be missed,” Coach Tom Coughlin said. “You have a guy who’s been a three-year captain. He’s an outstanding leader. He rallies the troops as well as anybody we’ve had. He’s a very strong personality, obviously. He’s a very, very smart player. He could make a lot of significant adjustments. He made all the checks from the defensive standpoint."

Pierce suffered a burner in the Arizona game on Oct. 25. He experienced very little discomfort until he practiced the week prior to the Nov. 22 victory over Atlanta. That Friday, the Giants’ medical staff sent Pierce to the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan for an MRI. Pierce was examined by team physician Dr. Russell Warren and Dr. Frank Camissa, Chief of the Spinal Surgical Services at HSS. They diagnosed the bulging disc.

Pierce said he was “shocked” when he received the news from the doctors.

“(He) was so abruptly taken away,” Coughlin said. “The original shock was that he was going over there to get an MRI just to see what the status was. We didn’t expect this kind of news.

“Originally our concerns were for him and I told the team this. In a team meeting I said, ‘Our concerns are for A.P., because it was a shock for him.' I remember seeing him right after he found out the news and he couldn’t hold back the tears. He’s a very emotional guy. He loves the game, loves to play. He’s very smart. He does an outstanding job with all the intellectual parts of the game. The players have relied and depended on him.”

Pierce has been the Giants’ middle linebacker since 2005 and a team captain each of the last three seasons. When he was sidelined, Pierce had 51 tackles (31 solo), one more than Terrell Thomas. The nine-year veteran and fifth-year Giant had three tackles for losses, a sack, two passes defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Pierce has been a durable player since joining the Giants as a free agent in 2005. He was a Pro Bowler the following year. Pierce has played in 69 of 73 regular season games and six of seven postseason games. He had started every game this season before the neck injury surfaced. In 2008, he missed a victory over San Francisco with a quad injury. Previously, his most serious injury was a severely sprained ankle in 2005, which kept him out of the final three regular season games and the NFC Wild Card Game vs. Carolina (though the Giants did not place him on injured reserve).

Five-year veteran Chase Blackburn has started the previous two games at middle linebacker. He finished with seven tackles (three solo) in the victory over Atlanta and seven more (six solo) in the loss at Denver on Thanksgiving night.

“He (Pierce) cannot play any more this season and other players are going to have to recognize what his contribution was to the defense and to the team,” Coughlin said. “They’re going to have to play better – they’re going to have to step up and play better.”

The Giants have not yet made a roster move to fill Pierce's void on the active roster.


  1. Maybe this means the Giants can get CC Brown back in the starting lineup since it's obvious they will miss Pierce's inability to play the pass. Time for Eli to step up and show he's worth that contract...

  2. We all thank you AP for your exceptional efforts as Giant. Hopefully your contribution to the team will continue for the next 5+ games with your head and your heart as much as it did with your body (for the last five years).

  3. Sorry AP, I didn't mean this to sound like it's your last year (in whatever capacity that might be).

  4. Oh great.., maybe now they can sign one of the safeties who have been on the practice squad that have looked worse than CC to the coaches all year. This is not really one of the Gisnts big problems but the only way to turn it into a positive is to see what Goff can do. Chase Blackburn wouldbe a good player if he was surrounded by playmakers.

  5. Gee, we'll miss AP. I mean where else can we find a slow, fat guy who shoots his mouth off all the time?

  6. I've always maintained that the giants have failed miserably to address their needs at LB. Nowhere is this more evident than Chase Blackburn, who would not make most squads. Do we need to review the list of failed LBs? I want to see Goff because if he can't play we need to find out before the draft.

  7. Can Gilbride just go ahead and copy a few plays from the Saints? That offense has a new wrinkle each week,

  8. AP's ability to get everyone running all over the field and out of position prior to the snap will not be missed, they will just as well without him. However, his ability to self-promote and over-hype his performance, while he tries to convince everyone that he is a pro-bowl caliber MLB, that will be missed.

  9. Can Dave Tollefson or Kiwi move to LB? Maybe this would help give us a better blitz and edge rush with some more powerful players. Our LBs are just too small and get taken out of plays too often.

  10. Kiwi did it before and that was the Giants plan until Osi got hurt and then moved him back to the DL. Not a bad idea. But, let's take this a little further. I know most of the readers here will disagree but I think we would be better served if Tollefson started at DE and Osi should be a 3rd down rusher. Why? Because he is absolutely of no use as a run defender. He has really regressed.

  11. Mitch,

    I agree Osi has been a terrible rush defender. Did you see when Braylon Edwards blocked him out of the play? But I would probably prefer Kiwi in at this point over Tollefson. Or even Canty.

    I think Tollefson is an average backup with no chance of making a game-changing play. At least Kiwi and Canty have shown that ability. I mean not this year obviously, but in the past.

    But I do agree Osi is now a liability on the line. It was one thing when in previous years he couldn't get penetration on running plays, but now he gets blown off the ball.

    And why on passing downs doesn't Tuck rush from the tackle spot this year?

  12. Dan, why doesn't Tuck rush from the tackle spot? For the same reason he, Osi, & Canty are seen dropping back into coverage on zone blitzes. Our DC hasn't got a clue. Lunacy...sheer lunacy.

  13. Any ideas about who they will make active in place of AP? Can I put my vote in for Barden? I know, AP should really be replaced by a defensive player, but I would like more "green" zone touchdowns! And KG and Eli forgot who Kevin Boss is last week. Do we need three active TEs? How about just Boss and Beckum? That will free up a spot for Barden.

    Seriously though, Ernie, do you have a feeling about who will be activated?

  14. IT makes you wish they had found a place for Maurice Evans (Penn st)