Blackburn has been ruled out of Sunday’s game because of the hamstring injury that forced him out in Dallas in Week Eight. That leaves the middle linebacker job to Mark Herzlich against Pittsburgh. Herzlich started two games for the Giants last season before his season came to an end thanks to a sprained ankle. That injury led the Giants to bring Blackburn back to the team and his play was an important part of the run to the Super Bowl. Now Herzlich is the replacement and the Giants will hope that there’s not a significant drop in production.
The Giants have other absences at linebacker as well. Jacquian Williams is out and Keith Rivers is listed as doubtful with a calf injury. That could mean a lot of the three safety look the Giants used last season if Kenny Phillips and Antrel Rolle are able to play. With Stevie Brown, the Giants would have a strong trio to use against the Steelers passing game.
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw didn’t practice Friday and is listed as questionable, something that’s becoming a weekly tradition as he manages his foot injury in hopes of remaining on the field.