David Diehl to start at RG for Giants vs. Eagles

The New York Giants’ offensive line is getting its fourth face
lift in five games.

Veteran lineman David Diehl will be starting at right guard for
the Giants (0-4) on Sunday when they take on the Philadelphia
Eagles (1-3).

Diehl injured his right thumb late in the preseason and had
surgery. He was active for the first time last week, but did not
play.

Diehl will replace James Brewer, who filled in for Chris Snee,
who is sidelined with a hip injury.

”It’s like riding a bike,” Diehl said after practice Thursday.
”This isn’t the first time this has ever happened, so I’m excited.
I’m excited about the opportunity. ”

The Giants need stability from the offensive line, which has
struggled all season. Eli Manning was been sacked 14 times and the
running game is averaging 58 yards.

Only left tackle Will Beatty and rookie right tackle Justin Pugh
have started all four games at the same position. Kevin Boothe has
started all four games, playing center in the opener before
switching back to his regular left guard spot.

Center David Baas missed the season opener with a knee injury
and then he hurt his neck against Denver in the second game. While
he played against Carolina, he tweaked the neck again and has not
practiced.

A four-time Pro Bowl player, Snee had hip surgery in the
offseason. His current injury is the other hip.

Third-year pro Jim Cordle made his first career start last
weekend, playing center.

”Our offensive line is a thick-skinned group,” Diehl said.
”We’re the guys who no matter what happens, no matter what’s said,
we’re going to be a group that comes out fighting. Me coming back,
I’m not a miracle worker. Everything’s not going to be perfect,
everything’s not going to be fixed. I just know that I’m going to
bring my leadership, I’m going to bring energy, I’m going to fight
each and every play.”

The versatile Diehl has been a starter on the line since his
rookie season in 2003, playing every position but center. He had a
sub-par year at right tackle in 2012 and was battling Pugh for the
starting job before being injured.

Now they are playing next to each other.

”Both of us are excited,” Diehl said. ”As a group, as an
offense, as a team – we’re fired up. If you’re not excited about
this game, to play the Eagles, a division rival, one of those games
that you know is going to be a four-quarter fist fight, we’re
pumped up and ready to go. ”

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org