I. Eli:

Even though there’s still no consensus on what, exactly, Eli’s injury is – did he separate his shoulder or just bruise his A/C joint? And what is an A/C joint anyway? – the practical upshot is beginning to clear up a little.

Basically, Eli has some swelling and some pain, but suffered no structural damage. For this reason, it seems as if he won’t risk any further injury if he plays.

So the questions now are: how bad is the swelling? Will the swelling preclude him from playing this week (or next week, or even in three or four weeks)? And how much pain can he endure?

I don’t think anyone knows the answer to these questions right now. It basically all depends on how Eli’s body reacts.

My best guess is that as of now, the swelling is pretty bad, but the Giants can at least hope that it can be brought down in time for Sunday’s game. But that’s a best-case scenario. There also exists the possibility that the swelling won’t go down for a really long time, and, high pain-threshold or not, Eli won’t have the range of motion needed to make the necessary throws.

Let me take the time right now to second Mike Garafolo and commend Eli for his toughness. There’s been a lot to criticize Eli about these past couple of years, but he is nothing if not tough.

The reason the severity of his injury came as such of a shock is because Eli totally downplayed it at the time and after the game. Think about this: he’s never missed a game, he never writhes in pain on the ground only to be perfectly fine a few plays later, and he never blames poor performance on injuries.

It’s been a rough beginning, but I’m hoping for a happy middle and end to the Eli in Big Blue story. Maybe not a Peyton-esque happy ending, but a good career nonetheless.

And maybe this toughness, along with other overlooked qualities that have either not emerged yet or that people have chosen to disregard, will endure Eli to G-Men nation as the years go by.

At this point, it’s obvious that he’s not Peyton or anything close. Maybe only after everyone realizes this once and for all can we stop harping on who he isn’t and start appreciating him for who he is.

**

Back to reality. We’re 0-1, and there’s a chance that the Hefty Lefty will start at quarterback Sunday against a not-bad Packers team and possibly beyond. All the warm and fuzzy talk coming out of camp – “happy horseshit,” as my high school football coach would say – was great, but we’re facing a pretty dire situation in Week 2.

Which brings us back to Lorenzen, and the obvious question: why the fuck don’t we have a better backup quarterback?

I don’t want to bury the guy too much, but after watching a lot of him this preseason and of course on Sunday (though that’s not a fair basis for judgment), it appears his only NFL-caliber skill is his strong throwing arm. In every other area that I can get any sense of – throwing accuracy, throwing touch (!), and pocket presence – he seems pretty terrible.

Is it possible that the Giants brass deliberately chose a backup quarterback who is a complete non-threat to the beleaguered Eli? It sounds a little crazy, and I’m usually the last person to propose this type of shit, but what if, say, A.J. Feeley was our backup Q? Or even Brian Griese. Or Jeff Garcia?

Eli is already not Peyton, and that’s bad enough in the eyes of a lot of people. But if there was a credible backup behind him? That would be the last thing he needs.

 

II. Osi:

All the attention on Eli has overshadowed the coverage of Osi’s injury, which is now being labeled “irritation” in the lateral meniscus of his left knee.

First, we were told he was out for the year. Then we were told it would be at least two months. Then we were told it was a day-to-day.

Basically, we know even less about Osi’s injury than Eli’s.

But make no mistake: while obviously less significant than Eli’s, his injury is a huge deal and would be dominating the headlines any other week.

Our secondary is pretty bad – that’s a given. So our only hope of having a not-awful pass defense lies in our pass rush, which can potentially be very good if we have the trio of Osi, Strahan, and Tuck healthy.

But if we lose Osi for an extended period of time, the chances of us having a good pass rush decrease significantly. Yes, we still have Strahan and Tuck, but what are the odds that the two of them will both stay healthy and be good? Realistically.

I’m really fucking tired of having our best defensive players on the sidelines. We’re in trouble if he’s out.

**

On a related note, Arthur Staple reported on his blog that Coughlin did not rule out the possibility that Kiwanuka could return to defensive end if Osi were to miss an extended period of time.

Personally, I’d be disappointed if they aborted the Kiwanuka at linebacker experiment so quickly. Yes, I too was discouraged by his performance the other night, but please, people: it was only one game. A little perspective, please.

The guy is still a phenomenal athlete who is terrific in space. He can become a good linebacker yet, but it will take more than one game.

 

III. Jacobs:

This one is definite. He’s out 3-5 weeks with a sprained MCL. As I wrote in my post-game post (unintentionally using the same word with different meanings), the question of Jacobs’ next injury might be more a matter of “when” than “if.”

“It’s an oft-made point, but Jacobs’ body-type and running style leave him extremely vulnerable to hits like the one that sidelined him tonight. I’ve always compared him to Jeremy Shockey, who has the same long-limbed build and high-contact style. Think of how nick-up prone Shockey is right now, and imagine how much worse things would be if he were carrying the ball every play like a running back?”

So now we get to see Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw. Ward has a nice little quick burst, but doesn’t seem to have any power. Bradshaw has always excited me as a runner, but his two fumbles (none of which were lost) against the Cowboys last week are cause for a lot of concern.

And maybe we’ll see a little Rueben Droughns as well. He’s pretty bad, but he won’t kill us as part of a running back trio.

 

IV. Other Injuries:

–Barry Cofield hyperextended his knee but will be fine this coming week. I’m not sure how that makes sense, but whatever.

–It’s pretty unbelievable that William Joseph is still on the Giants. The disappointments continue for him: he was placed on IR with a back injury and is out for the year.