Diehl back on starting line for champion Giants

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 06, 2012
Veteran offensive tackle David Diehl is back in the New York Giants' starting lineup, except it wasn't the way he wanted. Diehl was thrust back into the front line in the fourth quarter of Monday night's 17-16 loss to the Washington Redskins when Sean Locklear suffered a major knee injury that will sideline him for the rest of the season. Locklear had been one of the most productive free-agent acquisitions this season. Signed to back up Will Beatty and Diehl at the tackle positions, he started nine games. Two came on the left side because Beatty had back problems early, and seven on the right side after Diehl had an early knee injury and then a shoulder problem. Locklear played so well, that some wondered whether the 30-year-old Diehl might lose his job to the injuries. That's not an issue anymore with Locklear on injured reserve. Diehl is back and excited to be playing in the stretch run as the Giants (7-5) look to nail down their second straight NFC East title. The job resumes Sunday against the New Orleans Saints (5-7) at MetLife Stadium. ''I'm just excited to get out there and play football and feel good, feel ready to play and help our football team win games,'' Diehl said. ''We've got a four-game stretch and it starts this weekend.'' Diehl isn't your average backup taking over for an injured player. He's a 10-year veteran who started every game for the Giants from the time he was drafted in the fifth round in 2003 until late in the 2010 season when hip and hamstring injuries forced him to miss four in a row. He started every one last season as the Giants won their second Super Bowl since 2007. He even moved from left guard to tackle late in the season when Beatty had an eye injury. ''You know he is going to be prepared,'' offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said Thursday. ''You know he is going to know exactly what to do. He is going to compete and you know he is going to be physical. Thank God we have him. We are about as thin as you can possibly be.'' The injury leaves second-year pro James Brewer as the backup tackle and the jumbo blocker in goal line situations. He has only played in two games in his career. Diehl returns with the Giants in a very familiar situation. They've been inconsistent of late and need a late run to guarantee a chance at repeating. Heading into Sunday, New York has a one-game lead over Dallas and Washington in the NFC East with four games to go. ''Obviously we've been in this situation before, so people are always going to say that,'' Diehl said. ''Did we want to put ourselves in this position? No, absolutely not. Last week was an opportunity that we lost and we can never get back, but the only way to bounce back from it is this Sunday. ''To come out and play this game the best we can, play smart football and come away with a win. Keep building from here. We believe in one another. We believe in the guys in this locker room. When we play our game and we're at our top, we think that nobody can stop us.'' Diehl isn't bitter about not starting last week. His shoulder limited his practice time and Locklear deserved to play. Diehl instead played special teams and watched the offense most of the game. ''It's a role that I'll never get used to,'' Diehl said. ''When your opportunity comes back, you come back, and you come back strong. Most importantly, you play as best as you can to secure it.'' Beating the Saints isn't going to be easy. New Orleans has won the last three against New York, with the last two games being blowouts. The difference this time is the game is being played in New Jersey instead of the fast, indoor track of the Superdome. ''We haven't played them at home in a while,'' Diehl said. ''To go there, it's a tough place to play when you go out there and play in the Superdome. They play extremely well at home, so it's nice to, number one, have home field advantage; playing them here, in our house. Most importantly, we need to feed off the energy of the crowd and give them something to cheer about.'' --- NOTES: Running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), receiver Hakeem Nicks (knee), safety Tyler Sash (hamstring), tight end Travis Beckham (knee) and safety Kenny Phillips (knee) did not practice Thursday. ... Coach Tom Coughlin said linebacker Jacquian Williams (knee) is close to playing for the first time since mid-October. ... Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said the Saints kicked the stuffing out of the Giants - or something like that - in a 49-24 decision last year in New Orleans. --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker