Antonio Pierce isn't going to be happy about the news out of Giants camp on Friday.
Or maybe he will be happy, since Pierce likes to sit as judge and jury of players who are too injured to play. Either way, he's going to have plenty of fodder for his next radio interview.
The Giants are going to be without Justin Tuck, Brandon Jacobs and Chris Snee for Sunday's game against the Bills and none of them require surgery, which is the qualification that Pierce believes all players must reach before they are allowed to miss a game. We can quibble all day about whether or not TV analysts are entitled their opinion on the medical condition of others, but it's safe to assume that we all agree this isn't good news for the Giants' chances of winning.
It is particularly bad news for an offense that needs to do a better job of establishing the run in order to keep pressure off of Eli Manning. The Giants won't have much choice but to put the ball in Manning's hands as often as possible, a strategy that plays right into the hands of the ballhawking Bills defense.
That's only half the game, of course. The other half will come when the Bills have the ball and the Giants are going to need superior efforts from Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul if they are going to keep the Bills from scoring enough to walk out of the Meadowlands with a victory.
They are going to need to turn their game way up against the run because the Tuck-less Giants have looked pathetic when the opposition keeps the ball on the ground. Fred Jackson is a versatile back who has been in a serious groove this season as he tries to get a new contract, and failing to keep him under wraps will make it a long afternoon.
And the two healthy defensive ends will need to find a way to pressure Ryan Fitzpatrick into mistakes because the secondary hasn't proven up to the task so far this season. That will be complicated by Buffalo's penchant for quick passes and screens that slow down the pass rush, but there will be opportunities and the Giants will have to capitalize on them more often than not.
A tall order, but tall orders and competing for playoff spots go hand in hand. If the Giants aren't able to overcome the obstacles in their way this week, there isn't much chance to think that they are going to be able to do enough to thrive during the killer second half of the schedule.
Yes, injuries make it hard for the team to compete but there will always be something to use as an excuse for losing games. Good teams fight through those things and find a way to win anyway, especially when they have to rebound from a tough loss.
We'll find out this weekend how good these Giants plan to be this season.