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Smith, Snee & 5 Others To Miss Stadium Opener

Steve Smith

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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(AP) Pro Bowlers Chris Snee and Steve Smith and at least five other players will miss the New York Giants’ preseason opener against the New York Jets.

Giants Coach Tom Coughlin said tight end Kevin Boss, linebacker Keith Bulluck, safeties Kenny Phillips and Michael Johnson and free agent receiver Tim Brown also won’t play.

Guard Rich Seubert, who just returned to practice this week after breaking his left hand, has said he won’t play either in the first NFL game at the New Meadowlands Stadium.

The rash of injuries forced Coughlin to change Saturday’s planned two-hour practice at the University at Albany from a full workout to a walkthrough. Two of the team’s last three practices have been walkthroughs.

Coughlin made the decision to change the practice schedule on Friday night.

“We have a number of people playing in a limited fashion and a number of people that are out so there really wasn’t a whole lot (to do),” Coughlin said. “I wasn’t willing to go ahead and risk having somebody else pull up.”

Snee, the right guard who has played in consecutive Pro Bowls, has been bothered by swelling in his leg. Smith, who set a franchise record with 107 catches last season, has a groin problem. Smith plans to return to practice on Wednesday.

Boss, the No. 1 tight end, has been bothered by a hamstring for a week. He also hopes to practice on Wednesday.

Bulluck and Phillips both had major knee surgery in the past year and they are being held out as a precaution. Johnson has had back spasms, while Brown has groin and hamstring injuries.

Starting cornerbacks Corey Webster (groin) and Terrell Thomas (leg) are questionable along with tight end Scott Chandler (hip flexor).

Coughlin planned to play his starters 15 to 18 plays on Monday night. Jets coach Rex Ryan said Saturday he wants his starters to play into the second quarter.

The Giants have been limited on offense this week with four tight ends sidelined. Besides Boss and Chandler, Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard have been out with hamstring injuries.

“We’re a multiple tight end team and there have been a lot of formations where we have been very limited,” Coughlin said. “We’ve made some adjustments.”

In the past two days, defensive linemen Tommie Hill and Dave Tollefson, offensive lineman Herb Taylor, rookie linebacker Adrian Tracy and free agent safeties Michael Greco and John Busing have lined up as tight end to help the offense run plays.

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