"It's bad, ruptured patella tendon to start with," coach Tom Coughlin said. "It's most unfortunate. You got to feel badly for a guy that is coming back off a serious knee (injury), worked his tail off, really didn't say a word the whole preseason, just did what he had to do and worked on the field. And to see that happen tonight, it's devastating. He will bounce back and will be back out there but to have to go through what he's got to go through in terms of the rehab, we feel real bad for Clint."
Sintim suffered the injury early in the third quarter in the Giants' 18-17 win over the Patriots and could not place any weight on his right leg. Sintim, who was selected in the second round in 2009, tore his right ACL last December and was working his way back as a second-team linebacker.
"I knew as soon as I hit. ... It's unfortunate," a choked-up Sintim said afterward. "I worked really hard to get back. It's just unfortunate but that's the way football is. I'm going to give myself a couple of days and get back on the grind."
According to the team, Sintim may have torn his ACL as well, pending a full diagnosis.
Sintim is Mathias Kiwanuka's backup at linebacker. Kiwanuka currently is nursing a groin injury but expects to be ready for the season opener.
The Giants have lost a few key players this preseason. Cornerbacks Terrell Thomas (ACL), Bruce Johnson (Achilles) and Brian Witherspoon (ACL) and second-round pick defensive tackle Marvin Austin (pectoral) are out for the year. First-round pick cornerback Prince Amukamara is out until perhaps the end of the month or longer with a broken foot, and defensive end Osi Umenyiora is currently rehabbing after undergoing knee surgery a couple of weeks ago.
Sintim is likely to miss an extended amount of time, which could open up another spot for one of the team's rookie linebackers to make the squad. Greg Jones, Spencer Paysinger, Mark Herzlich, Jacquian Williams and Adrian Tracy are all fighting for roster spots.
Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.