Wilkinson Among Walking Wounded

The Giants lost one of their key defensive reserves and special teams players for at least three weeks. Backup linebacker Gerris Wilkinson suffered a subluxed (moved) kneecap in Monday's practice and could be sidelined as long as a month.

"There is no ligament damage, which is the good part," coach Tom Coughlin said. "But he does have a lot of swelling, a lot of irritation, and he has to rehab the whole quad area in order to be able to control all of that business. From my understanding it is going to be a while (until he returns)."

Wilkinson was playing behind new weakside linebacker Kawika Mitchell. In his absence, Tyson Smith and Barry Robertson will take snaps with the second-team defense. Perhaps more significantly, Wilkinson's injury could affect the coaches' thinking if they consider moving Mathias Kiwanuka back to end should Michael Strahan retire. If Kiwanuka returned to end, Mitchell could shift to strongside linebacker and Wilkinson could step in on the weak side.

"You have kind of a two-way pull here," Tom Coughlin said. "The intent was to always have Kiwanuka at linebacker. But there are other factors involved there, too. And now with Wilkinson, we're just going to have to see how it plays out. I'm not going to speculate on that right now."...

Elsewhere on the injury front, tight end Jeremy Shockey missed practice with upper leg soreness, which also caused him to miss a day last week. Wide receiver Plaxico Burress (ankle), defensive tackle Fred Robbins (calf strain), cornerback Aaron Ross (glute), safety Michael Stone (hip flexor) and center Todd Londot (high ankle sprain) missed practice...

Safety Gibril Wilson returned to work after leaving yesterday's practice with back spasms.

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