Strahan out for year

The Giants worst fears came true Monday afternoon, when it was learned that Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan was lost for the remainder of the season.

Strahan, the six-time Pro Bowler, the 12th-leading sacker in NFL history and one of the team's very best and most important players, suffered a torn pectoral muscle. The injury was confirmed through MRI and ultrasound examinations today. Strahan will have surgery Wednesday.

Sunday's game in Arizona will be the first one Strahan has missed since Dec. 17, 1995 when he sat out a game at Dallas with a hamstring injury. Strahan has started every game since entering as a reserve on Nov. 8, 1998 at Dallas. He has started 95 consecutive games and played in 137 straight games (136 starts). Strahan has played in 175 games in a Giants uniform, the sixth-highest total in franchise history. He has 118.0 career sacks, the second-highest total in Giants history after Lawrence Taylor's 132.5.

Strahan had four tackles against the Bears, including a 14-yard sack of Craig Krenzel, the 57th different quarterback he has sacked.

"We see what Michael means to this team every time we take the field," said coach Tom Coughlin. "Michael is the one guy on our defense that opposing offenses know they have to figure out a way to block if they are going to be successful. This injury is a shame because Michael really enjoys playing in this defense. He bought into our defensive philosophy and our schemes and how he fits into it. On the field, our players look to him for inspiration. Actions inspire. What the average person doesn't see is what a leader Michael is in the locker room and in the weight room when nobody is watching. He genuinely enjoys and appreciates his relationship with his teammates and he is held in such a regard that he can compliment them when necessary but he can also criticize them without ruffling anybody's feathers. He always does a great job with his teammates of telling them exactly where we are and what we need to do. He is just an overall outstanding teammate."

As if that news wasn't bad enough, New York's other starting DE, Keith Washington, suffered a torn ACL in his left knee and is also out for the season.

Osi Umenyiora will step in for Washington, while it's expected that DT Lance Legree will slide out to end to replace Strahan in the starting lineup.

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