The Giants have lost starting safety Kenny Phillips for the year. It's a big loss for Big Blue -- bigger than people realize.
This week in Tampa, the Giants could be without three key defensive starters: Phillips is out for the year with arthritis in his left knee. Justin Tuck is questionable at best with a partially torn labrum (left shoulder). And cornerback Aaron Ross has not played a down this season due to a hamstring injury.
But back to Phillips, who was the team's first round draft choice in 2008. He had just played the best game of his short NFL career on Sunday night against Dallas -- intercepting Tony Romo twice and a getting a team-high seven tackles.
Phillips, who leads the team with 16 tackles, is the reason that Giants General Manager Jerry Reese let safety James Butler depart as a free agent after last season -- and sign with the St. Louis Rams.
Out of University of Miami, Phillips has good size, hits hard and plays the passing game superbly -- and he was only getting better each and every game.
He will be hard to replace. Thursday the Giants signed Aaron Rouse off waivers from Green Bay after the Packers released him Wednesday. But if Rouse was that good -- he would still be playing at Lambeau Field. C.C. Brown is expected to start Sunday at Tampa Bay.
So Phillips is gone for 2009 and only time will tell how much the Giants miss him. I'm telling you now, they will miss him plenty.