Jordan Ranaan of ESPN is reporting that the New York Giants will shake up their offensive line yet again and start free agent D.J. Fluker at right guard.
The move leaves the offensive line looking like this:
Left Tackle: Ereck Flowers
Left Guard: John Jerry
Center: Weston Richburg
Right Guard: D.J. Fluker
Right Tackle: Justin Pugh
The move comes as back-up guard/center Brett Jones was added to the Giants’ injury report after playing the previous two games at left guard.
Jones came off the bench on the third play of the second game to play left guard when starting left guard Justin Pugh moved to right tackle. Pugh, of course, moved to right tackle when starting right tackle Bobby Hart exacerbated an ankle injury suffered early in the Giants’ season opener and was forced to leave the game.
Earlier in the week it was reported that Hart had come off the Giants’ injury report and were “good to go” for Sunday’s game. However, it seems that that isn’t the case now that game day has arrived. Perhaps the flight to Tampa took a toll on the injury or perhaps they want to give him another week.
This is the third offensive line combination for the Giants in three weeks. Last week they compensated for their unsettled offensive line by running an extreme up-tempo offense, which (largely) neutralized the Philadelphia Eagle’s pass rush. We will see if they repeat the strategy. We will also have to keep an eye on whether the addition of the powerful Fluker has an impact on their run game, and how Ereck Flowers responds to a new left guard.
Regardless, Fluker, the massive 26-year old free agent guard, will get his chance to prove that he is an upgrade to the right guard position.