EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- If there is any "drastic" change to to the starting offensive line when the New York Giants take the field on Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Eagles it is not believed to involve the left tackle position. All indications are that Ereck Flowers will be back out there protecting quarterback Eli Manning's blindside despite allowing four sacks and a penalty in two games.
It doesn't mean the offensive line will look exactly the same as it did when the Giants trotted out their starters Week 1 and 2, and used the same lineup that struggled most of last season.
Pugh moved to right tackle on the third play Monday night when Hart aggravated the injury. He admittedly had some bad snaps on the outside, but battled.
"I love what I have been able to do at guard. At the same time, I want to be able to win games. So if I'm out there at right tackle, I'm going to go out there and do my job. I'm going to go out there and battle," Pugh said. "I've always said this. If you put on my film I'm not the most technically sound guy, but I'm going to go out there and fight that guy across from me. That is what this O-line is going to have to start doing. I feel good where we’re headed."
Brett Jones came in at left guard when Pugh switched outside to tackle. Jones performed serviceably and is expected to make his first start of the season on Sunday.
"We felt moving Justin out and Jones in was our best chance to keep our best five on the field," coach Ben McAdoo said. "It's not who is our next best tackle, it's who is our best five. That is the question."
This will likely be Jones' second start. He lasted only a few snaps before injuring his calf in his first start last season.
The Giants are confident he can get the job done.
"He's the smartest guy in this locker room," center Weston Richburg said. "I have complete faith that he is going to come and do a great job. And he did last week."
The rest of the embattled Giants offensive line is expected to remain the same. So the starting offensive line on Sunday should be:
(from left to right) LT Flowers, LG Jones, C Richburg, RG John Jerry, RT Pugh
Wheeler is the backup at both tackle positions. Fluker is the backup at both guard spots.
The entire line should have their hands full on Sunday. The Eagles bring pass-rushers in droves. They have Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry and Chris Long off the edges. They have Fletcher Cox and Timmy Jernigan on the interior.
Jones will likely face Jernigan most of the afternoon. Jerry should have Cox lined up across from him. They will be tested.
"Those guys present challenges for anyone that plays them. They're a good defensive front," Jones said. [Cox is] relentless. He's a bull-rusher with good moves to complement that. You have to be ready to play all 60 minutes with him because he's physical and wants to get after the quarterback."