Out at least six weeks with tear

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jeremy Shockey probably won't be
around to help the New York Giants mount a late-season playoff run.

The Pro Bowl tight end is likely out for the season after
spraining a knee in Sunday's 27-7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

Shockey, a 6-foot-6 receiver from Ada, Okla., will not need
surgery, but recovery time is six to eight weeks, coach Jim Fassel
said Monday. An MRI showed a partial tear of Shockey's posterior
cruciate ligament.

"Jeremy has been a big part of our offense," Fassel said.
"You can't just unplug a guy like that and say that it is not
going to effect you or hurt you."

Fassel refused to say which knee Shockey hurt, although it
appeared he was favoring his left knee Monday.

Shockey stepped on a defender's foot while running a
fourth-quarter pass pattern in the loss.

Shockey, who set a team record for tight ends with 74 catches as
a rookie, had 48 catches this season for 535 yards and two
touchdowns. He had three catches for 46 yards against the Falcons.

Shockey left the locker room without comment Monday. He was
driven to his car by a team spokesman.

While Shockey has an outside chance of returning, Fassel
indicated he might place the NFL's top receiving tight end on
injured reserve because of Sunday's numerous injuries.

Backup tight end Marcellus Rivers popped a shoulder and was hit
in the throat. Receiver Tim Carter sustained a concussion, and
cornerback Ralph Brown separated a shoulder that will sideline him
two to four weeks.

Rivers, who spent a couple of hours in a hospital Sunday night
because of his throat injury, expects to start in place of Shockey.
Third-round draft pick Visanthe Shiancoe will be the second tight

The Giants probably will sign tight end Darnell Dinkins from the
practice squad if Shockey is put on injured reserve, Fassel said.

"I know I'll be needed a lot so I have to be ready to go,"
said Rivers, who has 10 catches for 91 yards this season.

Fassel said he might have to sign other players for Sunday's
game against Philadelphia.

"Jeremy is a big part of what we do," quarterback Kerry
Collins said. "Without him we have to go on. We do a lot of things
offensively for him. We'll just have to change things and adjust."

The Giants head into the final seven games with a 4-5 record.