With Shockey on IR, rookie Kevin Boss is expected to start in Shockey’s place. Another rookie, Michael Matthews, has played in every game this season.
“Kevin will get a lot of the work,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “Mike Matthews and Kevin will be utilized probably according to play, to be honest with you.”
No matter how well the youngsters play, it will be difficult to compensate for the loss of Shockey, one of the team’s best and most valuable players.
“Obviously, it will be tough (without Shockey),” Manning said. “He is a leader, he is one of our leading receivers, and he just makes tough plays and helps out this team in a lot of ways. Not only does he do the receiving, but blocking as well. We have two young tight ends who will get some playing time. They have been in games. (Kevin) Boss had a touchdown yesterday, so they (Boss and Matthews) can make some plays. But they are going to have to grow up real quick and figure out what it takes to play a whole game.”
“It is definitely a big blow,” Burress said of Shockey’s loss. “You just don’t put anybody at his position and ask them to come in and give you the same production and run-blocking that Shockey gives us. Boss is going to have to come in and make some plays and step in and play big for us and you can’t replace him. It is nothing against Boss, he is just going to have to grow up real fast, make some plays, and play hard for us and he definitely will go out and give us some good production.”
Shockey’s spot on the roster was taken by tight end Jerome Collins, who was signed off the practice squad. Collins had been on the practice squad since Sept. 11.
Collins, a 6-4, 277-pounder who played college football at Notre Dame, was a fifth-round draft choice by the St. Louis Rams in 2005, the 144th overall selection. Ironically, that choice originally belonged to the Giants, who sent it to San Diego in the Eli Manning trade. The Chargers traded the pick to Tampa Bay, which eventually sent it to the Rams.
Another player the Rams drafted that year, Madison Hedgecock, is now the Giants’ fullback.
Collins played in three games for the Rams at the end of the 2005 season but had no receptions. In 2006, Collins spent time on the Cowboys practice squad before the Indianapolis Colts signed him to their active roster. Collins did not appear in a game before going on injured reserve with an Achilles tendon injury.