Shawn Andrews misses practice again

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants, who have been beset by injuries to their offensive line, missed Shawn Andrews for the second straight practice. Andrews, who played left tackle against the Cowboys, has been bothered by a back injury that flared up Wednesday after a walkthrough.

Yesterday Andrews tweeted, "This can't be happening." Later he explained that it was about being late to work, and not to read more into it.

Andrews had back issues when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles. In recent weeks he had talked about how good this second chance with the Giants was working out, and he felt healthier than ever.

"I'm just grateful for a second chance, making the best of it and loving it," Andrews said last week.

Coach Tom Coughlin said he was not ready to rule Andrews out for Sunday's game. He said that Andrews had tried to practice on Wednesday but wasn't able to.

"He actually came out and tried to work [Wednesday]," Coughlin said. "He felt he could work. As long as he was in a two-point stance, he felt he could. But then the smarter move prevailed and we didn't push it any. He was a little bit better this morning. And hopefully he will be a little bit better [Friday]."

If Andrews is unable to play Sunday in Philadelphia, the offensive line will be even thinner than usual. The team also is without center Shaun O'Hara, with a foot injury that could keep him out another month, and left tackle David Diehl, who has a hip/hamstring injury.

Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said it's not the way he would want the Giants to prepare for the Eagles, who use a heavy blitz package that tries to confuse the linemen.

However, he expects who is playing to perform.

"As I said last week, you lose [receiver] Steve Smith, you lose David Diehl," Gilbride said. "I still thought we could win the game and I thought that the way the game played out, that was borne out, and I still feel the same way this week."

Backup center Adam Koets tore his ACL two weeks ago and is out for the season.

Will Beatty, who could play left tackle, practiced Thursday, as did Rich Seubert, who has filled in at center, moving over from left guard. Kevin Boothe and rookie Mitch Petrus, who split time at left guard, practiced, as did the stable right side of Chris Snee and Kareem McKenzie.

Seubert said he is sure that sure Andrews will be available to play against his former team.

"Shawn will be all right, you know Shawn wants to play in this game," Seubert said.

On the bikes Thursday at Giants practice were defensive back Corey Webster and tight end Kevin Boss.

Jane McManus is a columnist and reporter for ESPNNewYork.com.