x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Giants' early misery

It looks like no news is good news in the world of American football, with one after injury after another threatening to undermine the teams' quest for glory.

Osi Umenyiora of the New York Giants is one of the several injured NFL players this season.
Osi Umenyiora of the New York Giants is one of the several injured NFL players this season.

It looks like no news is good news in the world of American football, with one after injury after another threatening to undermine the teams' quest for glory. For starters, the New York Giants will have to defend their Super Bowl title without Osi Umenyiora. The Pro Bowl defensive end needs surgery to repair major ligament damage in his left knee and will likely miss the entire season. Umenyiora, who led the Giants with 13 sacks last season, suffered the injury during Saturday night's pre-season game against the New York Jets.

After X-rays taken on Saturday came back negative, Umenyiora underwent an MRI on Sunday to determine the extent of the damage. The results were anything but positive. But it was not just the Giants who are suffering from an injury setback - the Jets cornerback Justin Miller will miss one to three weeks with a dislocated left toe. The team have not revealed the extent of the injury, but a source confirms Miller could miss the Jets' season opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sept 7.

Miller too was hurt in the game against the Giants while making a tackle on the running back Brandon Jacobs. He limped off the field, was carted to the locker room and did not return. Elsewhere in the US, the Oakland Raiders wide receiver Drew Carter and full-back Oren O'Neal suffered season-ending knee injuries in the first quarter of Saturday's 24-0 pre-season loss to Arizona, the coach Lane Kiffin revealed.

Carter sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. His injury came at the end of a seven-yard reception. He immediately rolled over, grabbed his left knee and awaited help from two team trainers. "Obviously, both were really down, especially Drew," Kiffin said. "He's had so many things like this happen to him. I believe this might be his fourth ACL [anterior cruciate ligament], in his career. He's had a lot of tough breaks injury-wise. He was on a one-year contract, so this was very tough for him."

The Houston Texans wide receiver Harry Williams underwent surgery for a small fracture in his spine. Williams suffered the injury during the first quarter of Friday's pre-season game with the Cowboys. On the brighter side, the Philadelphia Eagles' Brian Dawkins should be fit to play in their opener against the St Louis Rams on Sept 7 despite struggling with an ankle injury. The Eagles coach Andy Reid confirmed that an MRI scan had revealed a tendon strain to Dawkins' right ankle. Dawkins was injured in a pre-season game against the New England Patriots.

* PA Sport