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The Hits Keep on Coming for Giants

Marvin Austin and Brian Witherspoon join the injured masses.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Coughlin's looking for good news that just won't come.

    It would probably be wise for the Giants to wrap their players in bubble wrap for the rest of preseason.

    If they don't take this admittedly radical step, the team might be forced to have their players play both ways this season. The roster keeps getting smaller as players head to the injured list faster than the team can even announce who is out of action.

    The latest additions to the list came on Tuesday. Rookie defensive tackle Marvin Austin will likely miss the entire season with a torn pectoral muscle and cornerback Brian Witherspoon will definitely take the year off thanks to a torn ACL.

    Austin's injury means that each of the team's first two draft picks are on the shelf, although the team expects to get cornerback Prince Amukamara, their first-round pick, back in October. That's good, because Witherspoon joins Terrell Thomas and Bruce Johnson as cornerbacks lost for the season already.

    If the mixture of injuries, free agent departures and unhappy players seems familiar, it makes sense because we've been down this road several times in recent years. The only difference is that it is usually the Mets who can't seem to steer their way clear of bad news providing the foundation for worse news.

    It is too soon to know if the Giants' season will wind up looking like the Met debacles that have become a regular part of our summer landscape, but things certainly look like they're heading in that direction. All you have to do is look at the current slide the Mets are on to see the cumulative effect of losing talented players on a team.

    The absence of talent in the lineup is damaging, to be sure. Even worse is the way that a team's spirit flags in the face of unyielding negativity, something that Tom Coughlin witnessed first hand as his team folded up and handed blowout wins to several opponents in the last two seasons when the obstacles seemed too much to bear.

    There's no doubt that the Giants have many talented players still in uniform. The question is whether the gaping holes at positions like cornerback and tight end are so large that they wind up consuming the rest of the team. 

    They say that things are darkest before the dawn. That's reassuring, right until the closest Mets fan points out that there are still a few levels of darkness available to the Giants.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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