Justin Pugh, right, looks to block linebacker Keith Rivers during...

Justin Pugh, right, looks to block linebacker Keith Rivers during training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. (Aug. 12, 2013) Credit: James Escher

It looks like Justin Pugh will be part of the reconfigured offensive line that deals with the absence of David Baas for the next few weeks.

Pugh’s agent tweeted out congratulations to his client this afternoon, saying that Pugh had been named a starter. While the Giants have not made that or any decision official, it seems likely that they will move Kevin Boothe from left guard to center, move David Diehl from right tackle to left guard, and insert Pugh at right tackle.

“I just want to get out there to play,” Pugh said earlier in the day. “I’d definitely love the opportunity to get out there and compete and I can’t wait to just get out there and practice today.”

That’s when we’ll have our first concrete idea of the realignment. In the game on Sunday the Giants simply put Jim Cordle in at center and rolled forward with that battlefield promotion. But with time to think about it and plan around Baas’ MCL sprain, the decision is leaning towards a complete overhaul rather than just a simple one-for-one replacement.

“You want to have your five best guys on the field,” said Diehl, who has started at both tackle and guard throughout his career with the Giants. “However they do it, however they shuffle it, you manage it.”

Diehl, by the way, had a cast on his right hand after an injury in the game on Sunday. He said it was not broken and he would practice and play with it.

Pugh suffered a concussion earlier in training camp and just saw his first game snaps on Sunday against the Colts. He was playing left tackle then, a position he is more familiar with after playing it throughout his college career. Now he’ll be at right tackle, where he played for most of the spring and the early stages of training camp before his injury.

It also means a change for Boothe, who has played some center in the past.

“It’s a lot different (than guard), especially going against teams that play a 3-4 or 4-3, snapping the ball and things like that,” Boothe said. “It’s different, it takes time to learn but I’m confident in either position.”

As for Baas, he said he thinks it is realistic that he could return for the Sept. 8 opener against the Cowboys. He said his MCL sprain in his left knee is considered “week to week.”

“I’m just going to do everything I can to get back as fast as I can but be smart about it,” he said. “I just want to help this team win. I’m looking forward to doing that as fast as I can.”

Baas limped to the finish line last season, starting all 16 games despite a litany of injuries, and he fought through multiple offseason surgeries to be ready for the start of training camp. He’d been taking just about every snap with the starting unit until Sunday’s injury. After so much work to return, this setback was a blow to him.

“I was frustrated the other day, but I’m over it,” he said. “Seeing the news and everything, I know I can bounce back from this just like I have from everything else. It’s not something that I can’t overcome.”
 

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