The Giants may be in for more shifting on the offensive line, and that’s not great news for a team that is facing Mario Williams.
Williams is the second-best sacker in the NFL with five, and the Giants may have to go through some extended shuffling to handle him. With last week’s starting center Adam Koets sitting out Wednesday’s practice with a sprained MCL and venerable starter Shaun O’Hara still unable to run with a combination of left Achilles and ankle issues, Rich Seubert must prepare to move in to the center spot from his left guard position.
At least for Wednesday’s practice, that meant David Diehl moving from left tackle to left guard and Shawn Andrews moving up from backup to starting left tackle.
Koets said he was optimistic about rejoining his teammates for his third start in place of O'Hara, who tried to run Wednesday but had to shut it down.
Koets is currently wearing a brace on it.
"Yes, just for right now," Koets said. "It was bothering me a little Tuesday, got sore, and it feels a lot better today once I loosened up and went and did some stuff on it. Hopefully tomorrow I can get out and practice, and it won’t be an issue at all.
"I got rolled up a little bit on the back of a run play (Sunday). I felt it but it wasn’t anything serious. I finished the game, obviously, and was able to be fine. It didn’t affect me. It’s nothing unstable or anything like that so it should be fine."
If it isn't, the Giants could have some problems on the left side. Andrews, at 335, is certainly big enough to handle a left tackle job. But he originally made his reputation at guard. So playing out at tackle against a do-it-all type like the 6-foot-6 290-pound Williams could be a huge problem.
"We all put our pants on one leg at a time," Andrews said. "They call him Super Mario, so I don't know how he gets dressed. But this is the NFL. I love the competition. Everything will be fine."
Diehl was eaten up by a speed rusher like Dwight Freeney, but with a little help from TE Bear Pascoe, acting as fullback in place of injured Madison Hedgecock, Diehl showed well against Julius Peppers last week.
Diehl said he and Andrews would switch positions Thursday, but if it came down to him going to guard, that would be fine, too. He's studied Williams and all the other members of the Texans' defensive front, so he's ready for anything.
Meanwhile, Seubert called the speculation over major problems a lot of worry over nothing. He said the team's healthy linemen were ready to face any challenge, no matter what position they played.
"We're all veterans," Seubert said. "Whoever's out there is going to go out there and win.
"It's Wednesday, guys. We're just trying to go out and get reps and see what happens. I'm not going anywhere, Dave's not going anywhere. Shawn got here late and he's trying to learn. We're just trying to make it easiest for everybody."
Whoever is out on the edge, he’ll have to handle Williams, who had a sack and a forced fumble in the win over Oakland last week. And that’s to say nothing of how the middle of the line will handle standout MLB DeMeco Ryans.
The best thing for everybody would be for Koets to return to full health.
"I definitely have tomorrow and hopefully it will keep improving and it won’t be a problem," Koets said.