Giants defensive end Justin Tuck claims he was just joking after Sunday’s 27-24 victory over the Bills when he told reporters that he’d definitely play in two weeks when the Giants take on the Dolphins. However, Tuck is optimistic that he’ll be back after the team’s Week 7 bye because he’s had plenty of time to rest his groin and neck injuries and get healthy.
“That was mostly just me messing around with the media guys there, but I feel confident in the fact that with having two weeks off -- well a total of [five] weeks off -- [and] the process we’ve had as far as getting better everyday, I feel as though in two weeks I’ll be ready to go,” Tuck said Monday during his weekly appearance on WFAN.
Tuck thinks he feels better because he didn’t practice last week instead of trying to come back to fast. Tuck has said he returned too quickly two weeks ago, which resulted in him having a setback, or in his words “being punished.”
“I think the things we did was that was smart was we completely shut it down the last week,” Tuck said. “I think I could’ve played if I wouldn’t have came back early and had that setback, but I think I benefited me because I really didn’t do anything this week but get treatment and that was it.
“I didn’t really do anything on [my groin] or workout on it, and it’s responded. It feels a lot better. So this week during the bye I’ll continue to get treatment, try to do a little more running on it and things of that nature, and hopefully like I said come the Miami game I’ll be back on the football field.”
Tuck said he’s going to be a homebody and continue to receive treatment during the team’s time off. He said he thinks he can play without practicing, but would like to get some practice time in prior to the team’s next game.
Tuck, who hasn’t played since being hurt during Week 3 in Philadelphia, remains upset over the constant criticism he’s received for sitting out the last three weeks -- most notably from former teammate Antonio Pierce.
“I don’t understand it either. I look at it like this: you got a player that loves the game and you know that, so why would he not play?” Tuck said. “If you’re able to play. and we’ve been blessed to have this talent ... Why wouldn’t I play if I could play?”
Tuck conceded that it’s been difficult for him to watch his team play on the sideline, but said providing a leadership role and coaching tips helps him cope.
“Being on the sideline and knowing the game, you can definitely help people out,” Tuck said.
Tuck called his replacement, Jason Pierre-Paul, one of the team’s “biggest forces” on defense. He even went so far as to call Pierre-Paul once of the “biggest defensive forces in the league,” although he hasn’t received as much notoriety as others.
• The Giants again re-signed quarterback Ryan Perrilloux to their practice squad, the team announced Monday. He replaces defensive tackle Dwayne Hendricks, who was added to the 53-man roster on Saturday.