It's no secret by now that the Giants' defense won't have to face Michael Turner, who will sit out Sunday with a high ankle sprain. In fact, the Falcons will be lucky to get him back before the end of the regular season.
Given that, the defensive front seven would be smart to put in a little overtime work this week, since it's unclear who they'll face. The Falcons just re-signed Aaron Stecker, a tough but old warrior of 10 years who is more of a blocker than a runner. But he could be the guy the Giants see regularly.
Or, it could be Jason Snelling, who had 18 carries for 61 yards in their recent loss to Carolina. Or, it could be Jerious Norwood. Norwood is a darned good runner. Fast. Elusive. And he's hurt the Giants in the past. The only problem there is that he's just getting back to running after missing four games with a hip injury. He's carried all of 19 times for 78 yards this season.
They may well have a three-headed attack on their hands. At this point, with the defense struggling, that probably wouldn't be a good thing. But it's hardly insurmountable, either, since none of those runners approaches the effectiveness of a Turner. Still, it will take some studying to figure out how to stop each. And then, of course, there's the issue of the run-stopping ability of the front, especially if Justin Tuck's shoulder remains a problem.
Tuck said yesterday the long bye weekend allowed him to heal a bit.
"It helped me a lot," Tuck said. "It allowed me to do the strengthening work that I needed to do without having to go out in practice and bang on it and gave it a lot of time to recover.
"Hopefully I will be that much better coming up this week."
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