Giants place captain Pierce on injured reserve

The struggling New York Giants will be without their defensive captain for the rest of the season. The Giants announced Monday that LB Antonio Pierce was placed on injured reserve due to a bulging disc in his neck that has kept him out the last two games.

Pierce was originally hurt against the Cardinals on Oct. 25, but the injury wasn’t initially believed to be serious. However, after tests later diagnosed Pierce with the bulging disc on Nov. 20, the Giants announced he would be out indefinitely, choosing not to put a timetable on his return in hopes it would be sooner rather than later.

“The doctors have told me that given my current condition, the risk of playing is too great, regardless of how I feel physically,” Pierce said Monday. “That is the most disappointing part of this, because I feel great and have no pain. But I will keep my head up and be there the rest of the way to do my part to keep the boys going.”

The Giants have yet to announce a roster move to replace Pierce on the active roster. Chase Blackburn has started the last two games at middle linebacker.

“He’s certainly going to be missed,” coach Tom Coughlin said of Pierce. “You have a guy who’s been a three-year captain. He’s an outstanding leader. He rallies the troops as well as anybody we’ve had. He’s a very strong personality, obviously. He’s a very, very smart player. He could make a lot of significant adjustments. He made all the checks from the defensive standpoint.”

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