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American Football: Giants lose Stoutmire for the season

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posted on Sep, 16 2004 @ 10:34 AM
Giants free safety Omar Stoutmire is going to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Stoutmire, who started every game the last two years only to lose his job this season to Brent Alexander, tore an anterior cruciate ligament Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Coach Tom Coughlin did not say Wednesday which knee was injured, but that Stoutmire would be placed on injured reserve.

Even though Stoutmire is not a starter, his injury will force a number of moves for Sunday's home opener against the Washington Redskins.

Running back Jim Finn will replace Stoutmire as the player who stands in front of Jeff Feagles on punts.

Rookie Gibril Wilson, a fifth-round draft pick out of Tennessee, will become the dime back in passing situations, the sixth defensive back on the field.

Wide receiver and punt returner Mark Jones was pulled out of the offensive meetings on Wednesday morning and told to report to the defensive meetings.

The rookie, drafted and released by Tampa Bay, played both offense and defense at the University of Tennessee last year. He will be an emergency defensive back for now.

Linebacker Jim Maxwell, who spent all of training camp with the Giants and was later added to their practice squad, was signed to the active roster.

"Losing him is a big blow to special teams, without a doubt, and the secondary," Coughlin said of Stoutmire. "As I told you last week, the ability to rotate the three safeties in there puts more added pressure now on Gibril Wilson."

Wilson was excited about the opportunity.

"The biggest challenge is to know what I am doing out there, have a lot of confidence and just play," Wilson said.

Coming out of college, Jones said NFL teams considered taking him either as a receiver or a defensive back. He played both safety and cornerback with the Volunteers. His preference is receiver.

Because he had not looked at the defensive playbook until Wednesday, Jones said he could only help in emergency situations.

Finn will call the signals and the protections as the fullback on punts. It's nothing new for him. He did it for a year in Indianapolis, and he has been the backup since training camp started.

Maxwell showed up for work Wednesday and was caught off guard when he saw his name on the starting kickoff return.

"I thought that kind of funny," said Maxwell, who played at Gardner-Webb in North Carolina. "After the morning meeting, Coach Coughlin pulled me aside and told me they were activating me and he expects me to do well."


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