New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin confirmed after practice on Tuesday what had already become obvious to observers watching practice at Quest Diagnostic Training Center -- rookie first-round pick Justin Pugh will get the start at right tackle Saturday night when the Giants face the New York Jets in their third preseason game.
Along with the Pugh move, Kevin Boothe will move from left guard to center to replace the injured David Baas. David Diehl will move from right tackle to left guard.
"It’s the best way for us to play right now. We, fortunately, have some guys that can play in a lot of different spots and David Diehl has played in a lot of spots in the course of his career and he’ll go inside there and do a fine job," Coughlin said. "We’re trying to get a group on the field now that can work together, hopefully to prepare for the regular season.
The Giants' coach expressed confidence in Pugh, whom the team selected 19th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft.
"Obviously we have a lot of confidence in him or he wouldn't be here, where he's picked." Coughlin said. "Certainly he’s got plenty to work on, he’s a young kid, but hopefully you put him in there now and we bring Chris Snee along, and Chris is there to help him."
Wide receiver Louis Murphy did not practice. Coughlin said Murphy has "a sore leg, they’re going to do all the tests on him and see what the problem is."
Wide receiver Ramses Barden missed practice with a sore knee. With Victor Cruz out and Murphy sidelined, missed practices are missed opportunities for Barden, whose roster spot is anything but guaranteed.
Adrian Tracy left practice with what may have been dehydration.
Also not practicing were Da'Rel Scott (shoulder), Corey Webster (soreness), Antrel Rolle (ankle) and Damontre Moore (shoulder).
Justin Tuck, Cooper Taylor and Jerrel Jernigan returned to practice.
The Giants waived/injured two players, wide receiver Keith Carlos and offensive lineman Chris DeGeare.
Dan Connor worked with the first team on Tuesday after an impressive game against the Indianapolis Colts. Coughlin did not announce that Connor was now the starter instead of Mark Herzlich, but Tuesday's alignment is a clear indication that is the case.