New York Giants left tackle Shawn Andrews sat out his third straight practice Friday with soreness in his twice-surgically repaired back. Andrews, though, sounds like a man desperate to get on the field Sunday.
"I’m working and being prayerful. This is a big one right here," Andrews said. "This is a special weekend."
Big for a lot of reasons. The Giants and Eagles will be playing for first place in the NFC East, of course. For Andrews, though, the game is more personal. The 28-year-old spent five seasons in Philly, twice being named All Pro, before the back injury and personal issues brought his time there to a close.
In Philadelphia, the mention of Andrews’ name makes fans’ blood boil. Andrews, however, tried to downplay any ill feelings.
"There has never been any bad blood there. It’s just good to get back and face my old team. I think that would be the case with anybody, whether they leave on good terms or bad terms," he said. "I wouldn’t say I left on bad terms, it’s just my time was up there and you have to move onto the next one.
"I think everywhere there are good people and bad people. I don’t harp on the bad. I used to let the bad and negative things get to me, but I’m in such a different place in my life right now and I’ve had my share of humble pies, figuratively and literally. They were tasty, too, but some of them were bad. I’m just trying to stay on track and just let the past be the past. I’ve been through so much in the past couple of years. I’m just fortunate, so fortunate to be here and be able to contribute to the Giants."
Not having practiced all week, Giants coach Tom Coughlin is not sure how he will use Andrews Sunday even if he is cleared to play by team doctors.
"If the decision is that he can play, we’ll have to decide then if we do want to have him available or do we want to put him right on the field," Coughlin said. "If in fact he has made a little bit of progress tomorrow, that will be encouraging and we’ll think perhaps he can make it and then we’ll start to balance off our inactives based on that."
If Andrews can’t go, second-year tackle Will Beatty will start. Beatty saw his first action last week since breaking his foot in Week 1.
Out -- T David Diehl (hip, hamstring), RB Madison Hedgecock (hamstring), C Shaun O'Hara (foot), WR Steve Smith (pectoral)
Questionable -- G Shawn Andrews (back)
Probable -- TE Kevin Boss (back), WR Darius Reynaud (hamstring), DE Osi Umenyiora (knee), CB Corey Webster (toe), LB Gerris Wilkinson (hand)
Questionable -- T King Dunlap (knee), DE Juqua Parker (hip)
Probable -- S Nate Allen (neck), DT Brodrick Bunkley (elbow), CB Jorrick Calvin (hand), G Nick Cole (knee), CB Ellis Hobbs (hip), RB LeSean McCoy (shoulder), LB Ernie Sims (ankle)