The New York Giants had several heroes during their run to a world championship earlier this year. At the end of the day, though, it wasn't Michael Strahan or Eli Manning who made the play that will forever be linked with Super Bowl XLII. It was David Tyree and his helmet catch that will appear on highlight reels from now until the end of time.
The question for the Giants is how much that catch means going forward. Tyree has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list all season after knee surgery, but has been practicing for the past three weeks. The team has until 4 p.m. tomorrow to decide on his roster status. Tyree can be activated, released or placed on injured reserve, ending his season.
It's a difficult decision. The team doesn't really have a place for him in their deep receiving corps. Circus catch notwithstanding, Tyree was always a special teams player first and foremost anyway. That unit hasn't really missed a beat without him and there certainly isn't a player worthy of being released to make room for Tyree on the roster.
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They do have two placekickers, though, a luxury few teams can afford. John Carney has done a nearly flawless job on field goals and extra points since taking over for an injured Lawrence Tynes, but Tynes is healthy now. Carney's kickoffs have been less sublime than his other work, which may provide cover for Tom Coughlin to make a move if he'd really like to get Tyree on the roster.
The guess is that Coughlin won't do that, though, and that Tyree will be placed on injured reserve or released. In football, practical needs trump emotional memories. Tyree provides plenty of the latter, which might be enough if the team wasn't a serious contender to make a repeat trip to the Super Bowl. They are, though, and Tyree doesn't appear to have a seat on the bus.