David Baas injury causes shuffling on Giants offensive line

David Baas will likely not be ready for the start of the regular season, even if he's hoping that's not the case. Credit: Getty Images
David Baas will likely not be ready for the start of the regular season, even if he’s hoping that’s not the case.
Credit: Getty Images

The Giants returned to work Tuesday with a different feel in the air than last week, following Sunday’s preseason loss to the Colts. Perhaps it had to do with all of the walking wounded around the facilities — or more like limping wounded.

Among the more worrisome sights were wideout Victor Cruz, who is dealing with a heel contusion, and center David Baas, who is labeled as being out “week to week” as he’s dealing with a knee sprain. Both starters were wearing protective gear (Cruz a walking boot and Baas a knee brace), while also tottering to the podium using crutches.

While it’s highly unlikely either will see any more preseason action, both are holding out hope they’ll be ready to go for the Giants’ regular season opener, a primetime battle against the Cowboys on Sept. 8.

Baas’s plight appears more serious than Cruz’s, who explained that there wasn’t any tears or structural damage to his heel in the MRI. The center’s situation, however, looks like it could be something that’ll need at least a month to fully heal.

The burly center, though, is saying he’d like to be back for the Cowboys game, even as those around the facilities think that it doesn’t look good.

“I was frustrated the other day and I am over it. I know I can bounce back from this the way I have everything else,” said Baas. “I think it is [attainable playing the opener], and that is what I expect. Obviously I am going to follow the doctor’s orders, so that’s why we have to take it week by week, see how it’s progressing. … It’s kind of one of those annoying things I have to let heal. I just want to be ready for my team.”

If Baas isn’t ready, the “next man up” philosophy kicks in, which means it’ll be either third-year veteran Jim Cordle or eighth-year vet Kevin Boothe at center.

Neither of the two will be overwhelmed if thrust into action, particularly Boothe, who has switched between both guard spots and center on numerous occasions as a Giant. Cordle has done the same, and the coaching staff has sung praises for both players over the years for their versatility, so let the best man win the job.

“I don’t know what coach has planned for us. It wouldn’t surprise me if we worked a bunch of different combinations this week,” said Boothe. “It doesn’t matter [because] I’ve played center quite a bit. I’m up for anything.”

If Boothe is moved to center, right tackle David Diehl — who was sporting a cast on his right hand — could play left guard, with either rookie Justin Pugh or James Brewer at right tackle. If Boothe is moved to center and Diehl stays at his customary right tackle position, either Pugh or Brewer could then step in at left guard.

The starting offensive line unit during Tuesday’s session consisted of Will Beatty at left tackle, Diehl at left guard, Boothe at center, Chris Snee at right guard and Pugh at right tackle. That could all change as the week progresses, but for the time being, head coach Tom Coughlin said this is the look Big Blue will use.

“It’s the best way for us to play right now,” said Coughlin. “We’re just trying to get the group on the field now that can work together, hopefully, and prepare for the regular season.”

Diehl agreed that all is so fluid, but he added that’s just the way it is in the NFL — especially on the line where the physicality and brutality is intensified.

“Work. I mean, that’s the only way you can [adjust to the shuffling]. There’s going to be ups and downs, [and] there’s injuries. That’s the sport that we chose,” Diehl said. “But I know the group that we’ve got. I know our coaches. We’re going to rally around, we’re going to work to improve and it starts right here on the practice field and breaking things down. … We’re excited. Guys were here [Monday] on their day off, watching the game film, watching everything, and we’re all doing the same thing because we want to come back out here today and get things right.”

Big Blue notes …

» Cordle got a laugh from the media when he was explaining the difference between being the starting center with the first unit and being one of the older guys as the starting center with the second unit.

“With the ones I can’t get the line calls out fast enough. Boothe and [Chris] Snee are making the call,” Cordle said. “When I’m with the second group, they’re waiting on me to make the call. But those guys [veterans] are making calls before I can even get up to the line. … When you go from the second team to first team, there’s a step up in competition. I think that’s all it is. You have to be ready for that.”

Cordle credited defensive tackle Linval Joseph for preparing him for the chance to battle top-flight interior lineman, considering Joseph is arguably the strongest player on the team.

“Getting reps in practice against our [starting] guys, and going up against Linval Joseph in practice is really hard,” Cordle said. “He practices really hard during an NFL week and he’s really good. I give a lot of credit to Linval for getting me ready for this year.”

Cordle also thinks these next two preseason games are momentous in his young career.

“We’ve got some veterans and we’ve got some young guys that have been drafted behind me, so I think these two games are definitely critical,” Cordle said. “They’re definitely going to make or break me.”

» Among the injured/missing at practice included defensive end Adrian Tracy leaving practice early with dehydration, and wideouts Louis Murphy (sore leg) and Ramses Barden (knee) both sitting out the session.

» Former Cowboy Dan Connor worked with the first team at middle linebacker, ahead of Mark Herzlich, who was a mainstay as the starting “MIKE” for most of camp.

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

Local

Paint Nite: Get drunk and make a painting…

At Paint Nite, New Yorkers can drink and make a painting at a New York City bar.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

NFL

5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.