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Big Problem to Tackle


Almost immediately following the 2006 season the Giants released long time (but often injured) starting left tackle Luke Petitgout.  Many fans were expecting the NYG to make a move for a high profile replacement, but instead the team did nothing. 

Instead of acquiring another tackle they shifted left guard David Diehl over and for the next three years the starting five changed about as much as Kareem McKenzie’s haircut.  The lineup of Diehl, LG Rich Seubert, C Shaun O’Hara, RG Chris Snee, and RT McKenzie reached a level of consistency rarely seen in today’s NFL.

Fast forward to this week and it seems that Giants fans took the consistency for granted.  This season the injury bug has crept in and sapped the NYG of maintaining any semblance of continuity on the O-Line.  While the right side of the line is still intact, center O’Hara is out for 2-8 weeks with a Lisfranc sprain in his foot and LT Diehl is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury.

When O’Hara went down he was replaced by versatile backup Adam Koets who the Giants drafted out of Oregon State in ’07.  Koets started for four weeks and the line didn’t miss a beat, until he tore his ACL in Seattle two weeks ago.

Diehl also suffered his injury in that game, adding a sour note to an otherwise impressive performance by the entire team.  Diehl had been struggling even before his injury and actually started that game at his old left guard position with Seubert moving over to center.

Diehl was replaced as the starting tackle by Shawn Andrews, former Eagles Pro Bowl guard, who the Giants picked up in the offseason.  Without Diehl or O’Hara the line was comprised of LT Andrews, LG rookie Mitch Petrus, C Seubert, RG Snee, RT McKenzie, until last week when guard Kevin Boothe came back from an injury of his own and took over at LG.

So what’s the big deal?  Every team has injuries on their O-line; you can’t expect your starting five to play all 16 games together every year.

Well now Andrews has been dealing with a back injury all week.  That may not sound so bad, except for the fact that he missed almost the entire 2008 and 2009 seasons with back injuries that forced him to contemplate retirement.  He says that he’s going to play this week, although the team has him listed as questionable.

If he can’t go the Giants’ third starting left tackle in four weeks will be Will Beatty.  The NYG drafted him in the second round last year out of UConn and really wanted him to win the LT job in training camp.  That didn’t happen and then he broke a bone in his foot in the season opener.

Fortunately thanks the immense depth that GM Jerry Reese has built for this unit, the slew of injuries has not slowed down the Giants high powered offense.  Although every team is dealing with injuries at this time of year the NYG offensive line needs to heal quickly.  It’s only a matter of time before the seams in this patchwork line begin to rip.

 Don't forget to follow Matt Canvisser on Twitter ( and make sure to check daily for new posts.


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