Pierce the latest ex-Giant to challenge Tuck's commitment

Justin Tuck might be growing tired of defending himself over the recent injuries that have kept him off the field. Criticism of the New York Giants' star defensive end seems to be coming from all sides.

Two former Giants teammates fired the latest salvos toward Tuck, who missed the previous two games with an injured neck and groin.

That prompted ex-Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce to call out Tuck and running back Brandon Jacobs during an interview on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" for not playing through the pain, according to the New York Daily News.

"To me, if you don't have an injury that needs surgery or is that severe, you need to be out there," said Pierce, an ESPN analyst whose playing career ended two years ago because of a neck injury. "And I don't really know and I don't want to question guys, but if you're one of the leaders on the team -- which Brandon Jacobs and Justin Tuck are -- and you say, 'You know what? The Seattle Seahawks, maybe we don't need to play this game' and you miss out, that's what's going to bite you in the tail."

Former Giant Michael Strahan took his shot several weeks ago over Twitter when the neck injury sidelined Tuck against the Philadelphia Eagles.

"I luv u @JustinTuckNYG91," Strahan tweeted. "but unless u R missing a limb U need 2 B in ths game. Everytime the Eagles R inside Giants 40 u need 2 B out thr."

As former players, Pierce and Strahan know what it takes to play through injuries. But as far as Tuck is concerned, they should put him on speed dial.

"Tell Antonio he knows my cell-phone number if he has anything to say to me about how I play the game," Tuck said.

Reached by The Star-Ledger over e-mail, Pierce didn't back off his comments, saying whether he's currently playing or not wouldn't change his opinion.

"Would say the same thing if I was on the team ... makes no difference!!" Pierce wrote. "If I was on the team playing ... I would still have the same opinion ... I did when I played and that has never changed ... I feel you do whatever you can to get on the field and help your team win."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.