The New York Giants‘ offensive line took a couple of major hits this preseason, losing center David Baas and tackle David Diehl to injuries.
Baas, who is entering his third year in New York, hurt his knee in the Giants’ second preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts. His initial timetable was about three to six weeks, which meant the opener at Dallas could have been the earliest he would have made an appearance. However, he won’t be back for the opener and a return in Week 2 or Week 3 is probably in the cards.
Diehl, a fifth-round draft pick by the Giants, has been starting for New York since his rookie season in 2003. The veteran lineman underwent surgery to repair his right thumb and isn’t expected back until Week 5.
The losses of Baas and Diehl have forced the Giants to do some shuffling and experimenting. In the third preseason affair against the New York Jets, the G-Men started Jim Cordle at center and rookie first-round draft pick Justin Pugh at right tackle.
After consistent struggles against the Jets, head coach Tom Coughlin switched things up again. He replaced Cordle with Kevin Boothe, who was previously playing left guard, and stuck James Brewer in at left guard. Brewer has played both tackle positions for the Giants but saw his first game-action at left guard in the Giants’ final preseason game against the New England Patriots.
The o-line has a lot to live up to from a season ago. Eli Manning was sacked just 19 times last year, which was the best in the NFL among quarterbacks who took more than 161 snaps.
In the preseason, Manning struggled as the line failed to give him enough time to survey the field. The line looked better against the Pats and the same unit will most likely start the opener. The Giants should expect some struggles in Dallas but will hope to eventually find a groove. Oh yeah, and pray for no more injuries. One more could be the straw that breaks the Giants’ back.
Daniel Brennan covers the New York Giants for Rant Sports. He lives in Westchester, New York and is a graduate of Quinnipiac University.