'08 Over for Plax

It was hardly surprising. Yet the news still rocked the Giants organization and the entire NFL.

The Giants on Tuesday placed wide receiver Plaxico Burress on the reserve/non-football injury list, officially ending his season. In addition, the team fined Burress and suspended him for four games for conduct detrimental to the team for multiple and repeated violations of club rules.

Burress suffered a gun shot wound to his right thigh in an accidental shooting early Saturday morning.

According to the league's Constitution and By-Laws, players who suffer an injury or illness unrelated to a football activity may be placed on reserve/NFI. Such players are not allowed to return to the club's active list or practice for the remainder of the season, just as when a player is placed on injured reserve.

Burress met individually with Giants president John Mara, general manager Jerry Reese and head coach Tom Coughlin.

"As we have said since Saturday morning, our concern is for Plaxico's health and well-being," Mara said. "This is an important time for him to take care of his body and heal up and also deal with the very serious legal consequences and other issues in his life. When I spoke with Plaxico he expressed great remorse for letting down his teammates."

"Our concern all along has been for Plaxico the person, not Plaxico the player," team chairman Steve Tisch said. "We are here to support him and his family as he recovers from his wound and deals with some serious issues."

This is the second time the Giants suspended Burress this season. He missed the Oct. 2 game against Seattle while under suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, action the team took after Burress failed to report for work on Monday, Sept. 22, the day after a victory over Cincinnati. Burress also sat out the first quarter of the game at Pittsburgh on Oct. 26 after missing a scheduled treatment the previous day.

Burress arrived at Giants Stadium at approximately 9:30 this morning and underwent treatment for his strained hamstring and gunshot wound. At midday, he traveled into Manhattan to undergo an MRI and an examination by Dr. Scott Rodeo, one of the Giants team physicians. He retuned to the stadium at approximately 3:15 p.m., when Reese informed him he had been placed on reserve/NFI following the results of the exam by Dr. Rodeo and that he had been suspended for conduct detrimental to the team.

"The decision we made today regarding Plaxico's roster status was based on the examination of Plaxico by our team physician," general manager Jerry Reese said. "Dr. Rodeo believes Plaxico would be out at least four to six weeks with the gunshot wound. I had two conversations with Plaxico today,=2 0and it was obvious that he understood the magnitude of this situation. He knows that we are here to support him and help him get healthy."

This season, Burress is fourth on the team with 35 catches for 454 yards and four touchdowns. Burress joined the Giants as a free agent prior to the 2005 season and has since caught 244 passes for 3,681 yards and 33 touchdowns. In addition, he had a franchise postseason-record 11 receptions in the NFC Championship Game in Green Bay last Jan. 20 and scored the winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLII on a 13-yard pass from Eli Manning with 35 seconds remaining.

Domenik Hixon has started at split end for the Giants in the two games that Burress missed. Hixon caught a team-high–tying five passes last week in Washington and has 26 catches for 373 yards and a touchdown this season.

"When you lose a player of Pla xico's ability, it is incumbent that everybody step up and fill the void," Coach Tom Coughlin said. "In the last two seasons, this team has done an outstanding job of that. We made it clear to Plax today that we are here to support him in any way possible."

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