Giants G Snee limited in return to practice, might play vs. Eagles

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Rich Seubert waited for fellow offensive lineman Chris Snee to walk from the trainer's room to his locker before raising his voice for everyone to hear.

"Chris Snee is at his locker," Seubert bellowed Thursday afternoon in the New York Giants' locker room.

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Snee just looked in Seubert's direction and shook his head. No words came out of his mouth, although the "thanks for nothing" was loud and clear.

Snee is one of the main story lines as the Giants (7-5) prepare for Sunday's NFC East showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles (8-4), who share first place in the division with the Dallas Cowboys with four games to go in the season.

Probably the Giants' best offensive lineman, Snee is a question mark this week. He injured his left knee during Sunday's 31-24 victory over the Cowboys and didn't play in the second half.

Snee didn't practice Wednesday. He worked out on a limited basis Thursday, improving his chances of playing Sunday and extending his streak of consecutive starts to 77 games.

"I have nothing to say," Snee said when asked how he felt. He deferred all questions about his injury to Giants coach Tom Coughlin, his father-in-law.

When told Coughlin said he was limited at practice, Snee laughed.

"I'm always limited," said Snee, who went to the Pro Bowl last season. "I'm a limited athlete."

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Seubert was willing to speculate.

"This is the last guy you'd expect to miss a game," Seubert said. "He's tough as nails."

If Snee is unable to play, veteran Kevin Boothe will replace him. Boothe, who filled in at right guard in the second half last weekend, hasn't started a game since 2006 with the Oakland Raiders.

Boothe is preparing to play, but he also believes Snee will be in the lineup Sunday.

"This is Chris Snee we are talking about," Boothe said. "He is as tough as they come."

Boothe, who played well after replacing Snee against the Cowboys, said he isn't preparing any differently this week. The Giants dress seven offensive linemen for games, and Boothe backs up at both guard and tackle positions.

"When I am out there, I am just trying to be as anonymous as possible," Boothe said. "The best situation is when nobody knows Chris is out of the game."

Whoever plays, the Giants will need a big effort from their offensive line, especially if the forecast for inclement weather is on the mark. Eli Manning isn't the best poor-weather quarterback, and the Giants will need a running game to slow down the Eagles' defense.

"No question, you want that in every game," running back Brandon Jacobs said. "You want to keep an explosive offense like that off of the field, no matter who you are playing against and no matter how good your defense is. You want to keep an offense like that on the sideline where they can't do any harm."

The Giants' running game has slipped this season. After averaging 157.4 rushing yards last season, New York is averaging 124.6 this season. Jacobs has yet to have a 100-yard game.

"Last year was like Haley's Comet," center Shaun O'Hara said. "Sure the numbers are down. But all we are looking to do is gain 100 yards."

Notes: S Michael Johnson, who has a groin injury, also practiced on a limited basis Thursday. ... Backup RB Ahmad Bradshaw didn't practice, but he is expected to work out Friday. ... Manning (foot), RB Danny Ware (concussion) and TE Travis Beckum (groin) fully practiced.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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