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Giants' injury-ravaged offensive line will look to improve vs. Jets' tough run defense

Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York

Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops the ball while guard Geoff Schwartz #74 of the New York Giants and guard Dallas Reynolds #61 of the New York Giants block against the Washington Redskins in the first quarter at FedExField on Nov. 29, 2015 in Landover, Md. Credit: Getty Images / Rob Carr

After facing Washington on Sunday without three starting offensive linemen, Tom Coughlin is preparing to do the same thing against the Jets. But he hopes he doesn't have to.

"You keep working, you keep fighting, you keep scrambling, you keep battling," he said Monday. "Maybe you get a couple of guys back, or at least one back."

It's unlikely to be guard Geoff Schwartz, who left in the first quarter Sunday with a fractured lower leg. Coughlin said his situation is "not good" and he'll likely wind up on injured reserve.

That leaves guard Justin Pugh (concussion) and center Weston Richburg (ankle).

"I'm hoping that's going to be the case, at least with one of them," Coughlin said when asked if it is reasonable to expect either to face the Jets, "but I don't have any evidence of that just yet."

The three injuries left the Giants with regular starters Ereck Flowers and Marshall Newhouse at the tackles and a completely new interior of Dallas Reynolds at center and rookie Bobby Hart (a converted tackle) and John Jerry at the guards.

The lack of cohesion was evident as the Giants allowed three sacks -- all of them surrendered by Newhouse -- and ran for only 33 yards.

"Me and Dallas, it was our first time being next to each other," Hart said after his first significant playing time. "Me and Marshall [too]. You have to have chemistry, you have to play together. Another week of practice, another week to get better. If that's the lineup we go with, try it again on Sunday and get to gettin'."

The Giants' 33 rushing yards was their lowest total since 2013 against Seattle, but more alarming was that it was against the league's 30th-ranked run defense. They had 1 rushing yard in the second half against Washington on three carries. Coughlin said he would have liked to see the Giants stick with trying to establish a ground game, but the team gave him little reason to follow through on that.

Now come the Jets, with the top run defense in the NFL and off a game in which they held the Dolphins to 12 rushing yards. The Giants might not hit double digits against them, especially if they have to keep relying on their backups.

"The other guys are going to have to keep playing and do a good job for us, that's all there is to it," Coughlin said of the reserves. "This is our team, these are our guys. Unfortunately, at a key time of the year, some of these people were not able to play up front and I'm sure they felt very badly about that, but we have to go on. We did go on and the result wasn't very good, but nevertheless you have to keep fighting."

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