- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants linebacker Keith Bulluck said maybe it was football karma. He will miss his second straight game this Sunday against the Houston Texans because of a turf toe injury.
Bulluck has seen turf toe before, and it's frustrating that something so small is keeping him from playing in games.
"Missing because of a toe, which is crazy," Bulluck said. "Throughout my career I've teased a lot of people because of their injuries, so I guess this is the football gods getting me back."
And, this would have been his kind of game. The Texans have an impressive rushing attack, and the Giants will have to adjust without having Bulluck and defensive end/linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka. Adjusting is something both the Giants' offense and defense have had to live with this season.
"There's no reason to simplify anything," said middle linebacker Jonathan Goff.
Goff said that from week to week things shift so much anyway in response to different offenses that personnel adjustments don't disrupt the system too much.
"This is really a different offense that we're going to face," Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. "It's a run-type offense. They execute the play-action pass, they try to stay on schedule without putting themselves in long-yardage situations, so it's a little bit of a different philosophy going into this football game than last week."
Fewell said that Clint Sintim and Deon Grant will see more playing time on Sunday. Last week, Sintim thought he would see more playing time as part of the base package, but that didn't happen because the Giants didn't go to the base package much against the Bears. Things should be different for Sintim this week.
"We're not going to hold anything back from a personnel group, but Sintim will play a lot," Fewell said. "Yes, he's going to play a lot in this football game."
Sintim, in his second year with the Giants, said he has asked Bulluck about how to approach the Texans -- a team Bulluck is very familiar with after playing for a division rival, the Titans, for several years. Yet Sintim is aware that Bulluck's injury is a big reason why he'll be playing more on Sunday.
"At the same time I'm excited about my opportunity to play," Sintim said. "I wish him a speedy recovery obviously but right now I'm really focused on what I need to do and what they're going to try to do to load up on some rush yardage against us."
Sintim was on pace to be a starter during training camp, but once Goff was tabbed for the starting middle spot and Bulluck was moved to the outside, Sintim found himself in a competition he didn't win.
But now it looks like Sintim will get an opportunity against the No. 1 rushing team in the league.
"We got a lot of guys ready to step up and play," Sintim said. "I'm ready to go."
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