If starting center David Baas is lost to the New York Giants for a period of time that extends into the regular season, as Conor Orr of the Star-Ledger is reporting as a possibility, what impact will that have on the Giants' offensive line?
Per Orr, Baas has an MCL injury and "We'll likely not see Baas for the remainder of the preseason and possibly into the regular season."
If that is the case then how should the Giants replace Baas? There are several alternatives.
One would be to move veteran left guard Kevin Boothe to center, slide right tackle David Diehl to left guard and insert rookie Justin Pugh at right tackle. Boothe has filled in for Baas at center before, Diehl has experience at the guard spot and Pugh spent most of the offseason and training camp working at right tackle. Pugh held up well in his preseason debut Sunday, while Diehl had a rough night.
Another option would be to make Jim Cordle the starting center, meaning no one else would have to change positions. Cordle took over Sunday night when Baas went down after just two plays and ended up playing a team-high 42 snaps.
"I feel comfortable. This is my fourth training camp, so I know the offense and I feel like I’m a better player than I have been," said Cordle, who played only 49 snaps for the Giants last season. "I’m confident in myself. If Baas is down for a while, hopefully the team is confident in me."
A third option for the Giants would have Boothe moving to center and second-year man Brandon Mosley sliding in as the left guard. After getting the start at right guard in the preseason opener at right guard, Mosley entered Sunday's game at right guard before third-year man James Brewer, who had been second on the depth chart in that spot. Mosley played 36 snaps. He has worked some on the left side, although not in games during this preseason.
A fourth option might be to play Boothe at center and Pugh at left guard. That, however, would seem the least likely alternative since Pugh, a left tackle at Syracuse University, has not worked at guard at all during training camp.
What would you like to see the Giants do on the offensive line if Baas is sidelined heading into the regular season? Vote in the poll and let us know.
I did not add an outright, 'Pugh replaces Diehl at right tackle regardless of anything else' option. That could happen eventually, but I did not see it as part of this discussion.