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Giants Need Reinforcements for Playoff Push


The Giants pulled out an impressive comeback victory on Sunday without many key pieces on offense, but that can’t be expected every week.  The short handedness of the team stuck out like a sore thumb at times against the Jaguars and it took heroics from mainstays like Eli Manning, Kevin Boss, and Mario Manningham to pull out the win.  Some of the replacement starters were impressive like left guard Kevin Boothe, but this team clearly needs it Pro Bowlers back.  Luckily, reinforcements seem to be on the way.

Steve Smith has resumed practicing and reportedly worked out more extensively than anticipated today.  He could be looking at a return to action this week against Washington (1pm at New Meadowlands Stadium) and would certainly provide some stability for the NYG receiving corps.  He would probably not be on the field for every play as he usually is, but 15 to 20 snaps of Steve Smith are better than no snaps of Steve Smith.  His partner Hakeem “Nightmare” Nicks is currently targeting a return next weekend when the NYG heads up to Minnesota.  He plans to begin running by this time next week and believes that his leg should be healthy enough to go next Sunday.

The offensive line will probably look the same against the Redskins as it did versus the Jaguars, but the injured starters in that unit are also working their way back onto the field.  David Diehl will be using practice on Wednesday to gauge where he is in the rehabilitation of his injured hamstring.  He will be doing individual drills and attempt to practice with the team with the goal being to play this weekend.  That seems unlikely at this juncture as the line held up admirably against Jacksonville’s defense giving the NYG staff no reason to rush Diehl’s rehab.

Center Shaun O’Hara will also likely miss another week though he will be return to running and conditioning drills on Wednesday.  The outlook for Shawn Andrews playing this weekend is also not good, although the unimpressive Redskins defensive front shouldn’t cause too much concern for the undermanned Giants offensive squad.  Rich Seubert’s transition to center has been without any major hiccups and the insertion of Boothe and Will Beatty in the starting lineup has proven to not to be a major downgrade.

A tough schedule looms down the stretch for the Giants though, and the leadership and intangibles of their veteran offensive players cannot be underestimated.  They need to get some of these reinforcements back on the offensive side for the impending playoff push or another second half retreat may be inevitable.


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