Boley has knee surgery, out for a month

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Giants starting linebacker Michael Boley, one of the team's biggest offseason acquisitions, underwent surgery Tuesday morning to repair partially torn meniscus in his right knee. According to a press release sent out by the Giants, Boley is expected to miss "approximately four weeks."

Boley It's likely that Boley will be replaced in the starting lineup by Chase Blackburn, although that hasn't been confirmed by coach Tom Coughlin. Boley, who had offseason hip surgery, had his best game of the season in the Giants' 27-16 win over the Chiefs. Coughlin said that Boley's knee "stiffened" on the flight home from Kansas City and an MRI revealed the damage to the linebacker's right knee.

If the four-week timetable holds up, Boley would miss games against the Raiders, Saints, Cardinals and Eagles. And the Nov. 1 matchup against the Eagles is one the Giants had circled for Boley. They signed him to a lucrative free-agent contract in no small part for his ability to cover running backs such as Brian Westbrook in space. The Giants' inability to match up with Westbrook last December and January helped lead to their early playoff exit.

Blackburn's more than capable of filling in for Boley and he performed well in his start against the Redskins in the season opener. You may also see Bryan Kehl get some more playing time at linebacker in Boley's absence. Kehl has emerged as one of the team's best special teams players and there's a chance he could help out in some of the defense's subpackages.

This is certainly a setback for the Giants, but it's one they're prepared to deal with. Coughlin will call on other players to step up in Boley's absence -- and they usually do.