They unveiled the corporate name of the New Meadowlands Stadium Tuesday.
Yeah, that's appropriate. The Giants could use a little insurance protection these days. Problem is, their roster is such a risk that the premiums would be outrageous.
In the last few days alone, the Giants have seen Osi Umenyiora head into the operating room for arthrscopic right knee surgery, Terrell Thomas go down against the Bears Monday with a season-ending torn right ACL, and fellow cornerback Brian Witherspoon end his season just a quarter later with another torn ACL.
Add those to that screw in first-round cornerback Prince Amukamara's broken foot that will likely take another six or seven weeks to heal, and Bruce Johnson's departure at the beginning of camp to a blown Achilles, and what started out as a potentially fearsome defense now has enough holes to strain macaroni. Al dente, of course.
General manager Jerry Reese put on a brave face after losing his pair of cornerbacks Monday night, saying "we'll find some" among the ranks of the unemployed. But he's only offering veteran minimum, which is about right for some of the older talent out there like Lito Sheppard. But an aging Sheppard won't be an adequate replacement for Thomas, who along with Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, and Justin Tuck bears the mantle of indispensability. Aaron Ross certainly has the attitude to step into Thomas' role, but his hamstring problems the last two seasons give reason to believe he is not the same first-round talent the Giants drafted in 2007. He did break up a pass at the goal line Monday night, but was it just a flash, or can we expect to see that on a regular basis from him.
It's also significant that the team that recorded 10 sacks against the Bears last year had only one Monday night, that coming from middle linebacker Jonathan Goff. Jason Pierre-Paul's major contribution in his one-half of work came in getting tangled with Thomas, possibly precipitating the injury. He had zero tackles and zero sacks after having a monster first quarter in the preseason opener against Carolina.
Chances are, that's not a foreboding of things to come. The Giants did keep the Bears out of the end zone most of the second half, thanks to big plays by Mark Herzlich (interception) and Greg Jones (fourth-and-goal stop at the 1). But there's nothing that can undo a team quicker than injuries, and the Giants have suffered more than their share already, halfway through the preseason schedule.
They added former Ram/Bronco/Bear/Viking defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy Tuesday. But Kennedy has done little in seven previous seasons that indicates he'll be anything but a rotational player at best. And he replaces second-rounder Marvin Austin on the roster. Austin, as it turned out, became the third player from the game to have to undergo surgery after tearing his left pectoral muscle. His season is over, too.
It'll be interesting going forward, both up front and in the secondary. If the situation doesn't come to a satisfactory resolution quickly, Eli Manning and the offense may wind up having to carry this team on their shoulders. And it's questionable whether it is capable of that, even after a 41-13 preseason showing.
Is it realistic that the Giants can bring in a slew of newbies to the system and still succeed?
"Whether it's realistic or not, it's going to have to be because that's the position we're in," Tom Coughlin said. "Whoever we bring in here isn't going to have a lot of practice days. But they do have days where they can be in with the coaches in the meeting room going over the tape from the beginning of training camp.
"If there are veterans involved in this, it's a simple change in language. They'll have experience in the multiplicity of coverages. Regardless of who it is, we've got two short weeks and we're lining up to play. So it's going to have to happen fast, no matter who it is."
Yep, they can sure use an insurance policy right now.