Giants' Shawn Andrews wants to play

Updated: November 20, 2010, 4:12 AM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Shawn Andrews was on the field for the walk-through Friday morning at the New York Giants practice facility and, if he has his way, he'll be out there at left tackle when they take on his former team in Philadelphia on Sunday night.

"If I have to be carried off the field for these guys, I respect them so much that I'm doing everything in my power to play," Andrews said.

Andrews didn't practice, but is listed as questionable for the Eagles game at 8:20 p.m Sunday night. The former Eagle has missed practice all week after hurting his back against the Cowboys. He's had two back surgeries prior to coming to New York, but said he would play tonight if he had to.

"For my G-Men, hell yeah I would," Andrews said.

The Giants have had a number of injuries to their offensive line, including center Shaun O'Hara (foot), LT David Diehl (hamstring) and backup center Adam Koets, who had ACL surgery Friday.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said the fact that the Giants need Andrews is part of the decision to see how much better he can get in the next few days.

"That weighs a lot," Coughlin said. "Only if you get the medical call."

If Andrews can't go, William Beatty would likely fill in at left tackle, with Kevin Boothe at left guard and starting left guard Rich Seubert shifting over again to center. Mitch Petrus, a rookie who played some left guard last week when Boothe was briefly injured, would rotate in. It would be the first full game back for Beatty, who has missed most of the season with a broken foot.

"I'm looking at it as it's the beginning of the season for me, not I've been out for eight weeks," Beatty said. "This is my start of my season, I'm fresh. I've got an advantage on him because he had a longer season."

Both Diehl and O'Hara were in the Giants locker room on Friday. Diehl said he was 100 percent better than where he was this time last week, and said doctors are encouraged with how quickly his hamstring is healing. Fresh from an acupuncture treatment, Diehl said he could return to practice next week.

O'Hara, who carefully strapped a black boot onto his left foot, did not have a timetable for his return. He said the estimate of two to eight weeks last week was a general range for the type of injury, but that he does not yet have a timetable. He said it's hard to watch from the sidelines.

"You just feel like you're on the outside and you're helpless," O'Hara said. "Just doing all I can to get back out there. It'll happen."

As for Andrews, Coughlin said he is aware that this could be an ongoing issue, but that he came into the Giants facility in good shape and at the right weight. Andrews said it was easy to speculate that his current issue is related to his former problems, but he thinks that there is a lot he can do to keep from further injury.

"We're dealing with a veteran player that has had some injuries and had some corrective surgeries," Coughlin said.

For Andrews, it's a tough moment. After feeling like he was fired by the Eagles, he had a second chance with a team he was already feeling a part of. Andrews knows just how much the Giants need him, and he feels a duty to the team for the second chance he has enough experience to fully appreciate.

"They took a chance -- and everybody was 'Oh, that's a bad move by the Giants.' And I feel like I owe them, man," Andrews said.

He didn't have anything bad to say about the Eagles fans or former teammates, although he imagines that there won't be an outpouring of affection from the Philly crowd.

"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, literally and figuratively."

Here, Andrews paused.

"They were tasty, too."

Playing on Sundays like this one is why Andrews stuck around the game when he had to have a second back surgery instead of heading back to Arkansas to go fishing.

"I know I have a lot of great football left in me, and I have a second chance with a phenomenal organization," Andrews said. "I feel like I owe it to these guys."

Jane McManus is a reporter and columnist for ESPNNewYork.com.

Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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