Posted October 07, 2011

Tuck’s injury could be blessing for Seattle

New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks

The Giants will rely on Osi Umenyiora if Justin Tuck (above) misses Sunday's game against the Seahawks. (Bob Donnan/US Presswire)

Only two teams have allowed more sacks than Seattle this season (14) and only four teams have recorded more sacks than the Giants (12). So, the Seahawks’ offense, which has shown some signs of life the past two weeks, could use any break it can get.

Justin Tuck being out of the lineup certainly qualifies. The Giants’ defensive end looks like he’ll miss his third game this season due to injury — Tuck was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report, after suffering a “setback” Thursday. Tuck has been dealing with both a groin and neck injury.

The Giants aren’t exactly a wasteland at end without Tuck. New York still boasts Osi Umenyiora, who had two sacks last week in his first game of the season, and emerging star Jason Pierre Paul, who has five sacks already.

Whether or not New York can survive against a Seattle team that scored 28 points against Atlanta last week is issue No. 1. But the bigger concern for the Giants has to be Tuck’s health going forward.

Tuck himself said Thursday that he might just shut it down until after New York’s Week 7 bye. “That sounds like a smart thing to do,” Tuck said. “We’ll see. I don’t know.”

Tuck added that he thought teams were purposely grabbing his face mask to try to exacerbate his neck injury.

Seattle allowed no sacks last week in a 30-28 loss to Atlanta, despite attempting 38 passes to just 15 rushes. Given how much the Seahawks had struggled protecting Jackson in the first three games, that’s a step in the right direction, even if Atlanta hasn’t had a sack since Week 1.

Neutralizing Umenyiora and Pierre-Paul Sunday will be the key to continuing on that path, though Tuck’s injury more or less takes away the Giants’ quality DE depth.

Will that lead to more opportunities for Jackson to throw the ball and, probably just as critical for Seattle’s chances to spring an upset, Marshawn Lynch to find some running room? Maybe, maybe not — but it should at least give Seattle some hope.

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