Giants LT Andrews uncertain for matchup with former team

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants seem to be shuffling their offensive line again.

Left tackle Shawn Andrews missed his second straight practice Thursday and his status for Sunday's game against his former Philadelphia Eagles teammates is uncertain.

Coach Tom Coughlin said Andrews would be listed as day to day, although he hopes the two-time Pro Bowl selection who missed the majority of the last two seasons with back issues will improve with rest. Andrews was signed by the Giants (6-3) late in training camp after getting released by the Eagles in the spring.

He was getting treatment Thursday and not available to comment for the second straight day.

If Andrews cannot play, Will Beatty probably would replace him at left tackle. Beatty returned to action last week after breaking a foot in the season opener against Carolina.

Considering the opponent, Giants right tackle Kareem McKenzie said there is no way that Andrews will miss the game for first place in the NFC East.

"There have been many times throughout my 10 years in the NFL where I have seen guys not practice and play," said McKenzie, noting that receiver Plaxico Burress barely practiced during the 2007 Super Bowl season and played every game.

Injuries have been a constant for the offensive line this season.

Pro Bowl center Shaun O'Hara has started only four games because of ankle and foot injuries. Left tackle David Diehl hurt his hip and hamstring in a win over Seattle two weeks ago and is sidelined for the first time in his eight-year career. Backup center Adam Koets was lost for the season in the same game with a major injury to his left knee.

Guard Rich Seubert is now playing center and the left side of the line has been in flux. Andrews started the last two games at tackle, the first happening when Diehl was moved to guard for the Seattle game because Coughlin wanted the more veteran Seubert to start at center.

Kevin Boothe, who spent the first eight games on the physically unable to perform list while rehabilitating a pectoral muscle, started last week at left guard and is expected to be there again this week.

Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said it's not the way he would want the Giants to prepare for the Eagles, who use a heavy blitz package that tries to confuse the linemen.

However, he expects who is playing to perform.

"As I said last week, you lose (receiver) Steve Smith, you lose David Diehl," Gilbride said. "I still thought we could win the game and I thought that the way the game played out, that was borne out, and I still feel the same way this week."

For someone who hasn't played much the past two seasons, Andrews has done exceptionally well the past two weeks. Lined up against DeMarcus Ware in Sunday's 33-20 loss to Dallas, he more than held his own.

"He has come along very gradually," Coughlin said of Andrews, the 27-year-old Eagles first-round draft pick in 2004. "He's played in multiple positions and he was in a starting role because he has played well, and he certainly really hasn't done anything to discourage that."

Coughlin spoke with Andrews earlier this week about going against his old team.

"I think he can handle it," the coach said. "We'll spend a little time on it. ... He seems to have a real good demeanor and I'm sure the emotion will grow for him."

Eagles coach Andy Reid said he was proud of the way Andrews overcame problems, which included a bout with depression in 2008 and recent weight issues, to get back into football.

"I said this often when he was with us, that I had never seen an offensive lineman that was as talented as Shawn Andrews," Reid said. "I've seen a few offensive linemen, I've played the position, I've coached it, I'm very familiar with the guys that have come through the league. He's as talented a guy as ever, and then he had that series of injuries and he came back, but it took a long time and he worked his tail off and he came back, and I'm proud of him for that."

Reid knew the road back would be hard. "He comes off with that great personality, but he's a tough kid and he's worked through things and things have worked out for him and it was just a matter of time," Reid said.

The Giants hope time is on their side when it comes to Andrews' back this weekend.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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