Justin Tuck changes facemask to protect neck

Justin Tuck, who has been battling a neck injury, has a new helmet now that he believes opposing players are targeting him.

Tuck has a new facemask with six horizontal bars, according to Mike Garafolo of the Newark Star Ledger, designed to give opponents of the New York Giants defensive end less to grab hold of during plays. He believes players have been going for his neck since he was slowed by a burner.

We’re just trying to give people not as much surface to be able to grab my face mask,” Tuck said. “They did it before the neck (injury), but it’s more amplified now.”

The report indicates Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Todd Herremans went for Tuck’s neck, and Tuck said targeting injured players is “part of the game and we all do it to some capacity.

“When you feel like you have an advantage, you try to exploit it,” Tuck said, “and that’s what teams are trying to do.”

But Tuck is frustrated because an injury that usually persists only a few days has been with him for a month. It’s his hope with new equipment, he’ll be more protected.

“There’s no guarantee that if I sit out until the bye week, I’ll be healthy the whole season,” Tuck said. “You just have to go on what you’re feeling that day, and that’s why they say it’s day to day.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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