New York Giants offensive lineman David Diehl, out the last two weeks with a hamstring injury, told me Tuesday afternoon that he plans to test his injured leg on Wednesday when the Giants begin practicing for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Now, don't go and get all excited and assume that means Diehl will play Sunday. Wednesday will be the first time he has tested the leg since suffering the injury two-and-a-half weeks ago, and he doesn't know what to expect.
"I can't say yes or no (about playing)," Diehl said Tuesday. "I don't have that answer for you."
Diehl said Wednesday will simply be a test to see how his injured hamstring responds.
"I'm going to try running and doing some stuff on the field tomorrow," Diehl said. "I'm not going to be practicing live, but I'm feeling much better. The doctors are saying that I'm progressing very well.
"I am going to go out there to test myself and see how I feel and see where I'm at. I'm doing whatever I can to get back out there on the football field, but at the same time hamstrings can be tricky ... It's tough for me to be sitting out, but I've got to be smart about it."
Diehl listed hot tub, cold tub, acupuncture, massage and even sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber as methods he has used in an effort to treat the hamstring. Sort of hard to picture the 6-foot-6, 320-pound Diehl sleeping in a 7-foot long by 41/2 foot wide inflatable chamber with only his I-Pad for company, but he's been doing it.
"It's supposed to help muscles recover faster," Diehl said. "I definitely, one can tell that there's a difference in the way that I feel and the way that I'm progressing in my hamstring. But also I'm waking up in the mornings feeling a hundred times better. I'm waking up not groggy in the mornings, so I think it's tremendously helping me."
We know that with Diehl, starting center Shaun O'Hara and backup center Adam Koets all down with injuries that the Giants have had to shuffle three positions on their offensive line. Eli Manning has not been sacked since Week 7 against Dallas, but the revamped line did have trouble with run-blocking Sunday against the Eagles.In that game the Giants were held to 61 yards rushing on 19 carries.
As Diehl pointed out, offensive linemen are dependent on each other and lack of familiarity with the guy next to you can make the job more difficult.
"It takes some time and it takes some work. We've got a good group of guys," Diehl said. "As a group you have to have that cohesion. All guys on the line have to know what the other guy's doing in order to go out and do our job to the best of our ability.
The one thing about our group of guys is that we're all hard-working blue-collar guys that are dedicated to making sure that we give our football team and our offense the best chance to win football games."
Diehl was doing phone interviews Tuesday to promote the heartburn treatment Prilosec OTC. Diehl pointed out that 50 million Americans suffer from heartburn.
"People think there's this 6-6, 317-pound guy who runs around and smashes people on Sundays. They think that we're almost indestructible, that we don't have any other things going on.
"This is a highly competitive job and market. If I'm not out there doing my job to the best of my ability they're going to find somebody to go out there and do it," Diehl said."People get nervous and people get anxiety."