EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Less than a week after getting their running game going, the New York Giants’ offensive line is suddenly in flux.
Blame it on injuries.
Adams Koets, who has started at center the past two weeks, sprained his right knee in Sunday night’s win over the Chicago Bears. That, plus the fact that Pro Bowl center Shaun O’Hara has been sidelined with an injured left ankle, had the Giants (2-2) playing musical chairs at practice on Wednesday.
Left guard Rich Seubert moved to center. Left tackle David Diehl took over Seubert’s spot and former Eagles Pro Bowler Shawn Andrews replaced Diehl. The right side of the line was unchanged with Chris Snee at guard and Kareem McKenzie at tackle.
What happens on Sunday in Houston against the Texans (3-1) remains to be seen.
Koets isn’t worried.
“It’s only one day,” said Koets, who said his knee feels much better. “Everybody has played all these positions. We’ll practice and hope it’s not an issue for the game.”
If Koets can’t play, then the situation becomes much more iffy.
O’Hara had said his left ankle had improved over the weekend. However, he tried to run on Tuesday and had problems, coach Tom Coughlin said. That probably makes him doubtful for Sunday.
Seubert has played center and Diehl has years of experience at guard.
Andrews is the question mark. He played guard for the Eagles and didn’t join the Giants until the team broke training camp at the University at Albany in mid August. He has worked him at guard and tackle, but recently has taken almost all his snaps at tackle since a foot injury sidelined backup tackle Will Beatty.
The last time he said he started a game at tackle was “neveruary.”
“It’s been a long time,” said Andrews, who also has played some tight end in run situations.
Coughlin indicated he probably will play Diehl at tackle in practice on Thursday and use Andrews at guard.
“I’ve been here for two months, and like I told coach when I first sat down and met him, whenever you need me, wherever you want me to be. I am going to excel and do the best that I can. I have been a swing left tackle, left guard, right guard, right tackle for the last few weeks. So it wasn’t a surprise.”
Diehl said that he is still preparing to go against Texans defensive end Mario Williams, a challenge that comes a week after he faced Julius Peppers.
As far as the line maintaining its chemistry, Diehl said the changes were made Wednesday so the unit could gel.
“You want to get used to working next to a new guy and communicating with that guy in case it happens come Sunday,” Diehl said.
Seubert said the changes might be a concern if the players were inexperienced.
“We all know what we are doing,” Seubert said. “I played next to David at guard this preseason and I am glad Shawn came in to be a New York Giant a couple of months ago because we’d be hurting now. He has learned the offense. I give him credit. It’s not the easiest thing to do to come in and learn a foreign offense and then get thrown in at guard, tackle and tight end, and to learn everything. We’ll just get on the same page and go.”
The line had things working in the second half against the Bears, rushing for 142 of their season-high 189 yards against what was then the No. 1 run defense in the league.
“The running game is just something you have to stick with,” Snee said. “We didn’t start out great but coach kept up with it and we had a lot more success. The big thing was the negative runs weren’t there, which had been a problem earlier.”
McKenzie laughed about the changes.
“Maybe, just maybe, quite possibly, it could be all a scheme,” he said. “Could be shenanigans. Who knows? I don’t know.” NOTES: While HB Ahmad Bradshaw did not practice because of a sore ankle (the team didn’t say which one), he ‘punished himself’ by carrying a ball throughout the work. Bradshaw has fumbled twice inside the 10-yard line in each of the past two weeks. … Also not working out were LB Keith Bulluck (toe), FB Madison Hedgecock (hamstring), S Kenny Phillips (knee), and DE Mathias Kiwanuka (knee). … Phillips is precautionary. He and Umenyiora are expected back Thursday.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)