It is time for New York Giants fans to quit crying over spilt milk. Jonathan Goff is gone to injured reserve. So are Terrell Thomas, Marvin Austin and a bunch of other guys. Kevin Boss, Steve Smith and Barry Cofield left on their own. Osi Umenyiora and Prince Amukamara won't be back for a while.
None of that matters anymore. The Giants open their season Sunday in Washington against the Redskins, and the players who won't be there really are not relevant.
"It is unfortunate that these guys have gone down. There is no question that there are a number of defensive players that have gone down," Coughlin said. "There are a number of defensive players that we were counting on that are not going to be with us and you can't hide that fact. We have what we have and we are going forward with it."
A little perspective. Goff will be the 10th player the Giants will place on injured reserve. Yes, that is a lot. The Giants, though, are hardly the only NFL team to have suffered injuries this preseason. Jacksonville, Oakland and Carolina have already placed nine players on IR. New Orleans and Arizona have placed eight. Several teams have six players already on IR. So, it isn't just the Giants. It isn't the trainers. It isn't the Timex Performance Center turf or some crazy hex on MetLife Stadium. It is football, and players get hurt.
As Coughlin said "It is unfortunate but it is our game."
The Green Bay Packers finished last season with 15 players on IR, and waived/injured several others who had been placed on IR. They still won the Super Bowl. The Indianapolis Colts will open the season without Peyton Manning. The New England Patriots went 11-5 a couple of years ago when Tom Brady missed the season with a knee injury.
'The guys press on," Coughlin said. "It is not an excuse. You have a job to do and you have to go do it."
Rookie sixth-round pick Greg Jones takes over in the middle, backed up for now by rookie Mark Herzlich. The Giants will be working out veteran linebackers today, including Kawika Mitchell. Likely, they will sign one.
Jones will likely get the bulk of the action Sunday, though, no matter who the Giants bring in.
"He has been here all preseason and he is a good football player. If not, he wouldn't be here. He has had a good preseason himself. Sometimes it is just time to step it up," Coughlin said. "Obviously there will be a lot of mistakes but they will be aggressive ones. That is the thing that you look forward to plus the improvement. You expect a young guy put in that situation to learn from errors and improve."
As for the Giants, they head to Washington still expecting to win. Injuries or not, that does not change.