Daily News One day after the Giants’ juggled their offensive line to compensate for the loss of center David Baas, they’ve been forced to juggle it again. Now it’s David Diehl who will be lost long-term because of an “unstable” right thumb. He will need surgery, according to the Giants, and is expected to be out approximately six weeks. That means the Giants are likely to be missing two of their starting offensive linemen on opening day and Diehl will likely be out until October. Baas could be gone nearly as long with a sprained MCL. The exact injury for Diehl is unknown, but he had a cast on his hand on Tuesday when Tom Coughlin described the injury as nothing more than a “nuisance.” Clearly it was more serious than that. Diehl was able to practice on Tuesday, but on Wednesday morning he had an MRI and was examined by Dr. Robert Hotchkiss at the Hospital for Special Surgery. That’s when it was decided the damage was enough to require surgery. Diehl began the summer by playing right tackle for the Giants, but was moved to left guard on Tuesday as part of the Giants’ plan to play without Baas. He was replacing Kevin Boothe, who slid over to center. Rookie Justin Pugh, the Giants’ first-round pick, was taking over Diehl’s right tackle spot. Now it’s not clear what the Giants will do. They could simply insert James Brewer or Brandon Mosley at left guard. They could also move Boothe back to guard and put Jim Cordle at center. Asked about the plan on Wednesday morning, Boothe said the Giants hadn’t been told yet. Coughlin isn’t scheduled to address the media until after practice this afternoon.
These are two huge injuries for the New York Giants, and they may have trouble protecting star quarterback Eli Manning and opening holes for explosive running back David Wilson early in the season without two veteran leaders who play key positions along the defensive line.
Center David Baas, who has a sprained MCL, has targeted a return during the season opener at Dallas. If the Giants have no further injuries along the offensive line during the final two preseason games, Baas can play center with Kevin Boothe at left guard and Justin Pugh at right tackle, and the Giants should be fine. However, if Baas is out longer than expected and Diehl is out until October, things get ugly for the Giants quickly. The Giants would have to play Boothe at center, and an untested young player at left guard, which could be a major issue.
As a Giants fan, I hope the team is very conservative with their offensive linemen during the team’s final two preseason games and play the starters sparingly, because another injury to an already banged up unit could be devastating.