The news that Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress accidently shot himself in the leg while at a club leads to more questions than answers. Chief among this: should New York just cut their losses and move on? Admittedly, Burress is one of Eli Manning's favorite targets, but he also can't seem to avoid the off-field missteps that have led to reports that he skipped out on a $2,000 tab, has been fined by the team some 40-50 times, stiffed a rental car company, earned a team-mandated two-week suspension and, now, suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
And, truth be told, the Giants are 10-1 with a less-than-100-percent Burress. Even before his most recent injury, he had been battling a bum ankle and sore hamstring that had limited him in practice, and the offense was still one of the best in the league. A dominating offensive line, a solid running game, and depth at wide receiver -- not to mention a maturing Manning -- all played a key role in that success.
The other question, assuming the organization plans to keep Burress around -- at least in the short term -- is how long he might be out after last night's incident. According to Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole, the answer, amazingly, is two weeks.
Apparently, Burress' leg was grazed by the bullet, which certainly will help in the recovery, and Cole writes that his two sources say Burress should be able to return to the field this season.
"From everything I've heard, he was really lucky," said a member of Burress' family who had been told only general details about the event....As a point of reference, Burress' former teammate, Joey Porter, was out less than three weeks after getting shot in the butt back in 2003.
"I don't exactly know what happened with all of this, where he was or whether he had the gun or what," another source said. "All I know is he's supposed to be back in a couple of weeks."
While it's good to know that Burress avoided serious injury, this latest episode could be the proverbial final nail in the coffin that is his Giants career. This has nothing to do with his physical abilities and everything to do with the above-the-neck stuff. Plax signed a five-year, $35 million contract hours before the season began, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turns into a one-year, $11 million deal.
If New York does cut ties with Burress, I'm not naive enough to think another team won't give him a chance; Dan Snyder has been looking for a big-play wideout for a couple years now, and I'm sure he'd gladly sign Burress. As would a handful of other clubs willing to overlook the baggage that comes along with the talent. I understand, it's part of doing business.
Lucky for the Giants, they're in the enviable position of being able to lose a player of Burress' caliber without worrying about the offense sputtering in his absence. Which makes you think that other organizations would be better served beefing up their scouting departments instead of throwing the dice on a troubled but talented player.
Easier said than done, I suppose.