New York Giants veteran tackle David Diehl is no longer a starter on the club with star Will Beatty locked in on the left side and Syracuse rookie Justin Pugh holding things down on the right side, but he is still a key backup despite losing out to Pugh this offseason. Diehl needed thumb surgery last month, and the projected timetable for Diehl was six weeks, which would have him returning to action next week against the Philadelphia Eagles. However, it sounds like he could be back a week earlier than expected from the thumb injury, as Paul Schwartz of the New York Post tweets that Diehl will be traveling with the team to Kansas City as they take on the Chiefs. The Giants gave the 33-year-old Illinois product medical clearance to play, and it sounds like he could be active against the Chiefs.
Diehl seems healthy enough to play, so I would expect the New York Giants to activate him. However, they may feel that leaving him inactive is the best roster move, though I don’t see how that’s a good idea given how the Giants offensive line played last week. The Chiefs have just as good of a pass rush as the Carolina Panthers do, so they need all the help they can get. Diehl won’t be starting, but he should play as a backup tomorrow.
ESPN New York’s Dan Graziano was asked in his Twitter mailbag today if he thinks stars Hakeem Nicks and Justin Tuck could be out of New York next season, and his answer was “absolutely”. But the more interesting item was his thoughts on who the New York Giants top priority next offseason will be, and he named off defensive tackle Linval Joseph. In fact, Graziano believes that Joseph is the “only” player the Giants will “prioritize” next offseason, as he also believes that offensive linemen like David Diehl and veteran CB Corey Webster could be out the door too (a few of those departures would make perfect sense for the Giants).
Joseph is just 24 years old, and he should come at an affordable price in the offseason. He does a really nice job pushing the pocket as an interior rusher, and he’s stout against the run. Linval Joseph is a player who does his job, and he’s solid player on this defense. So far this season, Joseph has notched 16 tackles, a half-sack, and he also forced a fumble in Week 1. Last season, he had some big numbers with 59 tackles, four sacks, and had a hand in three turnovers. I would honestly prioritize Hakeem Nicks, but Joseph is the most likely player of the notable free agents to stay with the New York Giants.