The Jets aren’t the only New York-area team hearing criticism from a Super Bowl-winning former member of the team.
Antonio Pierce had some harsh criticism of former teammates Justin Tuck and Brandon Jacobs for missing Sunday’s 36-25 loss to the Seahawks with injuries during an appearance with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on ESPN Radio on Monday.
“To me, if you don’t have an injury that needs surgery or is that severe, you need to be out there,” Pierce said. “And I don’t really know and I don’t want to question guys, but if you’re one of the leaders on the team – which Brandon Jacobs and Justin Tuck are – and you say, ‘You know what? The Seattle Seahawks, maybe we don’t need to play this game’ and you miss out, that’s what’s going to bite you in the tail.”
Tuck has missed three of the five Giants games this year with neck and groin injuries and he indicated last week that he might sit out through the bye week to ensure he heals up enough to play the rest of the way. He also came out of the win over the Eagles because of an injury, which led to a similar slam from Michael Strahan during the game via Twitter. Jacobs has a sprained MCL.
Interestingly, Pierce chose to retire rather than have surgery to repair a bulging disk in his neck. He missed seven games during the 2009 season because of the injury, which, at the time, he insisted did not require surgery for him to get back on the field.
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News got a response from Tuck.
“Tell Antonio he knows my cell phone number if he has anything to say to me about how I play the game.”
Trying to diagnose the level of an injury suffered by another person is a pretty silly game for those who never went to medical school to play. It’s easy to say that a player should just tough it out, but much harder to actually know the situation from a distance. We’ll never know what Pierce would have said if the Giants had won on Sunday, but it is a pretty good guess that he wouldn’t have been so sure that Tuck and Jacobs were doing something wrong by being on the sideline with injuries.