AP on the Shelf

Say what you will about how Antonio Pierce has played of late. But there's no doubt that his absence will certainly have an adverse effect on New York's defense.

On Friday, Pierce was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his neck and will be sidelined indefinitely, according to the team's medical staff.

Pierce underwent an MRI on Friday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan and was examined by team physician Dr. Russell Warren and Dr. Frank Camissa, Chief of the Spinal Surgical Services at HSS.

Pierce originally suffered a burner in the Arizona game on Oct. 25 and experienced very little discomfort until practice this week, at which point the team's medical staff scheduled the MRI.

"I'm shocked with what I heard from the doctors this afternoon," Pierce said. "I had no idea that what happened a few weeks ago could keep me off the field. I didn't think it was that serious. I'm going to do everything the doctors tell me to do so I can get back out on the field as soon as possible."

In his absence, Chase Blackburn is expected to start at middle linebacker.

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