Window closes on Giants' Tyree, who goes on injured reserve
Tyree, who made "The Catch" in New York's Super Bowl victory over the Patriots in February, was placed on injured reserve by the Giants on Wednesday. The move was made after Tyree ran out of time trying to get back on the field following offseason knee surgery and then a hamstring injury.
"I can't say I was shocked," Tyree said in a late afternoon conference call. "It was news and I tried to take it in stride. I knew it was a possibility and it was not in my control."
Tyree said that his knee was fine but he would have needed another week or two to get the hamstring in shape. The Giants had to make a decision by 4 p.m. Wednesday.
"Time was something that I didn't have on my side," said Tyree, who vowed to come back healthy next season and attempt to make the team for a seventh season.
The 28-year-old Tyree spent the entire training camp on the physically unable to perform list because of knee surgery. Being on PUP prevented him from playing until after the sixth week of the season. He had a three-week window to earn a roster spot after he started practicing on Oct. 15. However, a hamstring injury allowed him on the field only a couple of times.
"The medical people say he was not ready," coach Tom Coughlin said.
Tyree earned a place in Super Bowl history with a leaping grab in traffic on the team's final drive in the fourth quarter, securing the ball against his helmet as he fell to the playing surface. The 32-yard play set up Eli Manning's touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress in the final minute.
The catch took place in Phoenix and Giants fans never got to welcome Tyree back on the field this season, although he was an offseason celebrity at banquets and even wrote a book entitled 'More Than Just The Catch.'
"I have had enough fanfare," Tyree said. "That's not something I miss. My life is always full. Football, like my buddy Plax [Burress] says, it the best temp job you can have. I have fun with it. I love it, but this is nothing that fills my plate."
The Giants had the option of adding Tyree to their active roster, placing him on injured reserve or releasing him, but they still would have owed him his salary for the year. He was glad the team did not cut its ties with him.
"I'm a Giant until something changes, I'm a Giant," Tyree said. "Obviously I'm happy to be that. I don't desire to be anywhere else in my career. I would love to be playing football but I can't because I am not 100 percent with the hamstring."
Tyree admitted being relieved that his status has finally been determined. While he wanted to play, he also said that he came to terms with the fact that maybe this was not his year, at least on the football field.
A Pro Bowler in 2005 as a special teams player, Tyree faced a struggle making the team as a receiver with Burress, Amani Toomer, Steve Smith, Domenik Hixon, Mario Manningham and Sinorice Moss all playing well now.
"It's sad," Toomer said of the move. "I know he tried hard. He was out here working tirelessly. It's a sad thing. I don't think it is over for him. He has opportunities."
Manning had breakfast with Tyree on Wednesday.
"He knows the circumstance and the situation and he has always been a great team player and he understands what had to happen," Manning said.
S James Butler, who hurt his knee on Sunday expects to play this weekend against Philadelphia. He missed practice on Wednesday. LB Gerris Wilkinson had swelling in his injured knee and also did not practice on Wednesday. "It's frustrating. They are trying to figure out how to deal with it," Wilkinson said of the setback.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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