Giants could suit up Tynes for kickoffs in cold and wind vs. Eagles

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- After kicking the winning field goal in last year's NFC Championship Game, Lawrence Tynes has spent most of this season as a spectator for the Super Bowl champion New York Giants.

Tynes hurt his knee in training camp and lost his job because 44-year-old John Carney joined the Giants and basically didn't miss.

Carney, who was named a second-team All Pro on Friday, hit 35 of 38 field-goal attempts and all 38 of his extra-point tries in helping New York (12-4) win the NFC East and earn the conference's top seed.

It was impossible for coach Tom Coughlin to give Tynes his job back, although it also was impossible for the team to cut him.

Carney has a weakness, though. His kickoffs have gotten shorter and shorter in the second half of the season. In the final eight games, the average starting field position for opponents has never been less than their own 30-yard line, and recently, the starts have been closer to the 35.

With wind gusts expected to be in the 15-to-25-mph range in the divisional matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, there's a chance that Coughlin might dress Tynes to handle the kickoffs.

"I won't know until 10:30 (a.m.) on Sunday," Tynes said Friday after handling the kickoffs in the early part of practice.

Coughlin refused to indicate what he would do.

"In the past, we have done it the way that I thought was best for us to win, and we will continue to do whatever we think is best for us to win," Coughlin said after practice.

Tynes said Coughlin hasn't indicated that the kicker will play, so he isn't optimistic. He's ready though.

"I would like to contribute in the playoffs, even if it is just kicking off," Tynes said.

Sunday's forecast calls for temperatures to be around freezing and gusting winds. Tynes said a kickoff to the 10-yard line in those conditions would be good. He said the cold reduces a kickoff by 7 or 8 yards.

"You can't set your goals too high because you won't get touchbacks," he said. "You might get a (touchback) heading toward our tunnel (west) but not the other way."

Tynes also has a stronger leg than Carney and could be called upon to attempt a field goal that might be out of Carney's range.

Carney said that whatever helps the team is fine with him.

"You can always kick off better," Carney said. "I have had some good kicks and kicks that have not been my best. We've addressed all that, and hopefully, we have corrected it."

Carney said he has benefited from working more in the stadium recently, noting that the way the flag blows at the top is usually the opposite of what the wind's direction is on the field.

"You have to work with the weather and understand through your pregame and, because of the conditions, what your expectations should be and what your ranges are," Carney said.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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