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Healthy Tuck takes over at left end

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Turns out there was some good news for the Giants defense on Saturday despite the unit's poor showing in a 24-21 loss to Carolina.

No, Michael Strahan didn't pick up the phone and tell Coach Tom Coughlin "I see the fellas need some help, I'll be right there."

But, Justin Tuck, a guy the Giants will need at defensive end whether Strahan plays or not, saw his first game action since injuring his foot last season and came away feeling good about it.

"I think I did pretty well," Tuck told Giants.com. "It was the first preseason game and I'm just glad to be back out there. We have a lot of things to clean up and we just have to get back out there and go to work."

In even better news for Giants fans, Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News reports that Tuck took first-team reps Monday instead of William Joseph.

Tuck, in case you aren't familiar, is a third-year player from Notre Dame. He played in only six games last season before suffering the same Lisfranc injury Strahan did and missing the rest of the season.

In his rookie season he played in 14 games, made 26 tackles and had one sack.

If Strahan decides not to play it will likely be Tuck who mans the left side.

With the Joseph experiment at end seemingly a failure, the only other experienced end (besides Osi Umenyiora) is Adrian Awasom. No, I'm not counting Mathias Kiwanuka either. I could see the Giants scanning the waiver wire for some help there, but even if that happens Tuck will have a significant role.

The Giants have to hope he's up for it.