Giants hope Tuck's return adds to re-emergence of D-line

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Watching the New York Giants defense this season has not been easy for defensive coordinator Perry Fewell.

One of the leading units in the league last season, the defense has struggled with a rash of injuries that sidelined cornerback Terrell Thomas and middle linebacker Jonathan Goff for the season and forced defensive captain and two-time Pro Bowl selection Justin Tuck to miss four of the first six games.

Coming off a bye week, Fewell has been smiling these days.

Tuck has been practicing and is expected to play on Sunday against the winless Miami Dolphins.

Tuck missed the season opener against Washington with a neck injury incurred in the preseason and the last three with a combination of the neck and groin.

"It's a game I love to play and whenever you have the opportunity to go out there with your teammates it's a good feeling so I'm looking forward to it," Tuck said Thursday after practice.

The good news for the Giants is that Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, second-year pro Jason Pierre-Paul, Dave Tollefson and sometimes Mathias Kiwanuka are all playing on the line.

This will mark the first time this season that Tuck and Umenyiora have played in a game together, and the result might be less time for Pierre-Paul, who is third in the league with 7 1/2 sacks.

"We have a lot of talent on the defensive line and hopefully I can add to that," Tuck said.

Fewell has not figured out his starting lineup, and he said Tuck's playing time would depend on how he feels.

Fewell was not sure whether first-round draft pick Prince Amukamara, who broke his foot in his second practice of training camp, will make his NFL debut on Sunday.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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