Coughlin on return of Diehl, Canty

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Two veterans trying to work their way back into the Giants' starting lineup are offensive tackle David Diehl and defensive tackle Chris Canty.

Diehl, who suffered a knee injury in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, returned to action last Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, getting some snaps as an extra tight end in the Giants' jumbo package.

"He's very close," coach Tom Coughlin said Thursday, when asked if Diehl is fully healthy.

However, when, or even if, Diehl will regain his starting job at right tackle is unclear. The Giants' offensive line, with veteran Sean Locklear filling in for Diehl at right tackle, has played very well of late. The Giants have rushed for 392 yards the past two weeks, and quarterback Eli Manning hasn't been sacked in the past three games.

Coughlin gave no guarantees about Diehl getting back his starting job. "It's a continuous operation; he's getting more time practicing and feeling better about it," Coughlin said. "We'll see how it goes."

Diehl had played in 142 of a possible 146 regular season games since his rookie season with the Giants in 2003, prior to the injury in Week 2 this year, and had started all 142 of those games.

As for Canty, the eight-year veteran spent the first six weeks of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, because of offseason knee surgery. Canty came off the PUP list and began practicing fully with the team on Wednesday.

"He actually practiced well yesterday and today," Coughlin said Thursday. "He's in very good condition."

Canty started all 16 regular season games for the Giants the past two seasons. And fellow DT Rocky Bernard, who has been starting in place of Canty, is expected to miss Sunday's game against the Redskins with a quadriceps injury.

Coughlin said he expected to make a decision on whether to activate Canty late in the week.

"The biggest challenge is you are not in training camp," Coughlin said. "You can't give the young man a training camp, you don't have one. He's got a week of practice, which is three hard days, but that's it."