The New York Giants will get starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw and linebacker Michael Boley back for Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers. But starting center David Baas was a surprise late addition to the Giants' inactive list due to headaches, leaving New York extremely thin on an offensive line that already ranked as one of its major problems.
With starting left tackle Will Beatty out indefinitely following eye surgery, left guard David Diehl will slide over and play left tackle for the second game in a row. Kevin Boothe, who played guard Monday night in New Orleans, will start at center in place of Baas. And reserve lineman Mitch Petrus will make the first start of his career and be the left guard.
The good news, however, is the return of Bradshaw, who missed four games with a broken foot and was better earlier in the year at finding the few holes the Giants' line could open up for him than Brandon Jacobs has been since. Bradshaw's return also will help the passing game, since he's Eli Manning's most reliable screen target and one of the best pass-protection running backs in the league.
The defense also will get a boost from the return of Boley, who has been one of the Giants' best defensive players this year but missed the last three games with a hamstring injury. Boley provides a veteran presence in an otherwise very young linebacking corps. For most of the year, he has been the defensive player with the speaker in his helmet, in charge of relaying the signals from the sideline to his teammates.
Wide receiver Mario Manningham is also inactive and will miss his second game in a row with a knee injury. Linebacker Mark Herzlich, defensive end Osi Umenyiora, defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy and running back Da'Rel Scott round out the list of Giants inactives.