Last year, the New York Giants were hit hard by injuries in the preseason. Well, they're licking their wounds again heading into the 2012 season. Here's a look at injuries to five key players on the team and what the Giants will do if they don't heal in time for Opening Night against the Dallas Cowboys.
Will Beatty (LT) -- Beatty, who missed the last 10 games of 2011 with an eye injury, has been dogged by back pain. The Giants aren't saying it, but I'd be surprised if he's ready to go against Dallas. If that's the case, Sean Locklear, a natural right tackle, will start in his place. Another option is to move the experienced David Diehl to LT and slide Locklear or James Brewer to the right side.
Mathias Kiwanuka (LB) -- Kiwanuka suffered a groin injury on the last play of the first half against the Chicago Bears on Friday (Aug. 24). However, he overcame the same injury last season and plans to be ready for the season-opener. The versatile Kiwanuka is invaluable to the Giants, as he can play against the run and rush the quarterback from the end. Let's hope he's right about being ready.
Marvin Austin (DT) -- Austin, who missed all of last season with a torn pectoral muscle, is working his way back from a back injury, but "had a little setback" in the words of coach Tom Coughlin. This is where it gets tricky for the Giants, who have been decimated by injuries at the position. Dwayne Hendricks and Markus Kuhn have looked good in the preseason and may see time in the rotation.
Prince Amukamara (CB) -- Fans feared the worst when Amukamara was carted off the field against the Bears, but the injury turned out to be a high ankle sprain. However, high ankle sprains tend to linger and it's unlikely last year's first-round pick will be ready to go against the Cowboys. Candidates to fill in for Amukamara include Michael Coe and Bruce Johnson.
Terrell Thomas (CB) -- Compounding the injury to Amukamara is one to Thomas, who missed last season with a torn ACL. Thomas aggravated the injury early in camp and hasn't been back on the field. The Giants hope to have him back soon, but the season opener probably is too soon. Perhaps rookie CB Jayron Hosley can return from his turf toe injury and provide relief in the secondary.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who proudly wears his Rodney Hampton jersey on Sundays during the football season. He grew up in Queens, N.Y. rooting for the Giants despite being surrounded by Jets fans. Adam follows back Giants fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.