It was obviously sad to hear the news about Amani, the old pro and G-Men institution. He had some huge games at the beginning of the year, had the best hands and foot-dragging skills on the team, and was a guy that could be counted on for timely catches.

I haven’t listened to any sports talk radio or anything, but I suspect there may be some who are gonna criticize his decision to shut it down and have surgery rather than just resting/rehabbing/cortizoning/icing and taking whatever other measures that may or may not make him available for some games later in the season.

But I think he made the right call, not only for himself — it was, after all, his call — but for the Giants as well. It’s better to know that he’s done now than it would be if he was week to week for the rest of the season.  Now that we know we won’t have him, we can start slotting in Carter, Tyree, Jennings, and (guess who practiced yesterday, not a moment too soon?) Moss. By the end of the year, one of these guys will emerge and be better than a banged-up Amani.

And if I may go further, there’s a good chance that this injury to Toomer will turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Right now, Tim Carter will step into the starting lineup, giving us a speedy home-run threat that Amani, for all his virtues, is not.

Carter generated a lot of excitement in training camp with his improved health and play, but save for two extremely important plays in the season’s first two games — 1) The bullshit holding penalty in the Colts game which wasn’t his fault at all; and 2) The huge fumble recovery in Philly, without which we would be in second place behind the 5-3, tiebreaker-advantaged Eagles — Carter has been pretty invisible.

We saw a little of what this guy was capable of in 2003, and we’ve been waiting for this potential to re-materialize ever since — Ernie Accorsi even anted up on a two-year deal to bring him back before this year because he was unable to part with Carter’s tantalizing athleticism. Maybe this is finally his time. And, dare I say it, an emerging 26-year old Tim Carter is a better player than the 32-year old version of Amani Toomer.

There are additional benefits aside from Carter. As I mentioned above, Sinorice Moss practices yesterday. If Moss actually is healthy this time, he should soon slot right into the 3rd receiver position vacated by Carter, where you expect him to pay dividends immediately. His quickness of the line and shiftiness in small spaces make him a much better fit in the slot role than Carter was. We’re all anxious to see what this guy can do.

Assuming Sinorice is healthy, we’ll get two speed burners on the field in positions to maximize their ability for the price of one steady Amani. And though it may take some games for these guys to get adjusted, and for Eli to get adjusted to them, I really believe that this will make us a more dangerous offense going forward. Against playoff teams, teams need playmakers. This injury gives us the opportunity to see if we have one, or two, in these guys.

Of course, there’s no guarantee whatsoever than Sinorice will ever be healthy this year — you just hope that he wasn’t rushed back to practice because of the Amani situation. It’s been such a snake-bitten season for Sinorice that it’s hard to get too excited and imagine him not having a setback. His season reminds me of Jose Reyes’ 2004, when the Mets repeatedly rushed him back from a nagging hammy only to see him have recurrence after recurrence. A real, prolonged rest was the only thing he needed.

If Sinorice isn’t healthy, either David Tyree or Michael Jennings will get a chance. Though they have very different games — Tyree is a big-target possession guy, Jennings is a pure speedster — they both have the potential to be pretty decent.