Coughlin: Madison, O'Hara uncertain again for Dallas game

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Center Shaun O'Hara and cornerback Sam Madison were not cleared to play in the NFC wild-card game, and coach Tom Coughlin is uncertain whether the starters will be available for the divisional round against the Dallas Cowboys.

"Both very much wanted to play, but the medical people said that wouldn't be the case," Coughlin said Monday.

O'Hara sprained his left knee in the regular-season finale against New England, while Madison aggravated a pulled muscle in his stomach.

Starting weakside linebacker Kawika Mitchell, who was also hurt against the Patriots, did not aggravate his sprained left knee playing in a limited basis in the Giants' 24-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Backup defensive tackle and snapper Jay Alford sprained a knee Sunday, but Coughlin hopes to have him back at practice on Wednesday.

Grey Ruegamer and Corey Webster both played well in replacing O'Hara and Madison, respectively.

"Grey played very well, played well enough for us to win the game and we had no issues with center-quarterback exchange," Coughlin said of Ruegamer, who was making his first start of the season. "All the calls were made properly, so I was really impressed by the veteran professionalism that Grey demonstrated not only through the week but into the game."

Webster had an interception, recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half and limited Joey Galloway, the Bucs' 1,000-yard receiver, to one catch for 9 yards.

"He shut things down over there," safety Gibril Wilson said of Webster, who was making his first start since the third game of the season. "He played extremely well. I've been with Corey for three years now, and this is the best I've seen him. He's confident. It's just a wonderful thing to see."

Starting left tackle David Diehl left the game late in the third quarter after cramping in the 70-plus degree heat in Tampa, Fla.

Coughlin said that Diehl was fine after the game and that Guy Whimper did a good job replacing him for 12 plays on a 15-play, 92-yard touchdown drive that sealed the game.

"That was excellent experience for him and to have him get involved more and more was a good thing obviously," Coughlin said.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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