Cordle steps into starting role

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants center David Baas was placed on season-ending injured reserve prior to practice Wednesday -- but No. 64 was still on the field.

It wasn't Baas, though -- it was Jim Cordle, the player replacing Baas in the lineup.

Cordle was wearing Baas' No. 64 instead of his customary No. 63 -- a fitting tribute, right? Except that's not why Cordle was wearing the number.

It was a wardrobe malfunction -- an equipment manager hung the wrong jersey in Cordle's locker. "I didn't realize it until I was out there," Cordle said. "I guess it was fitting that I could wear his jersey for a little bit on this day."

Cordle eventually switched back to a No. 63 jersey. And now he'll switch back to starting, which he did in Weeks 4, 5 and 6. Baas returned from a neck injury in Week 7, but suffered a knee injury Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings that landed him on IR.

When Baas returned, Giants coach Tom Coughlin went out of his way to praise the job Cordle did in his stead. Coughlin expressed confidence in Cordle again Wednesday.

"He's done an outstanding job," the coach said. "He's very smart. He keeps up with everything. He's prepared to go. He has a nice demeanor about him, in terms of going into the game at whatever point. We would hope that would continue."

It's a huge opportunity for the 26-year-old, who went undrafted out of Ohio State in 2010. After signing with the Giants as a rookie free agent, Cordle spent a year and change on the practice squad before being elevated to the active roster. Those three starts earlier this season were the first of his NFL career.

"Right now we're just trying to win one game at a time. So that's all I'm thinking about, is the Philadelphia game," Cordle said. "I was happy to get the opportunity that I had, I thought Dave would come back and be healthy and be the guy, but he went down again. I feel good about it this time. I've been playing, and the team's confident in me, so that helps."

Baas is confident in his replacement, too. "He's done an excellent job," Baas said, "and he'll continue to do an excellent job."