Giants face another injury on line with Shawn Andrews

The New York Giants have done a terrific job of weathering injuries on their offensive line to this point.

That task just got more difficult. Fill-in left tackle Shawn Andrews, who has made a remarkable comeback this season, missed practice with a back injury Wednesday as the Giants gear up to face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday with first place in the NFC East at stake.

The alarm that needs to be raised here is that Andrews missed nearly all of the previous two seasons with back injuries and surgeries. According to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, Andrews tweeted this morning, “This can’t be happening…..” To understate the significance of this development would be to err.

Andrews has been filling in for mainstay David Diehl at left tackle. The Giants have also been without center Shain O’Hara and his backup Adam Koets was promptly lost for the season. Will Beatty could be next up at left tackle.

It’s rough timing for Andrews, who was looking forward to facing his former team.

“I’m proud of him,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said on a conference call with New York media today. “And to come back from what he had, what a tribute to hard work right there. I said this often when he was with us, that I had never seen an offensive lineman that was as talented as Shawn Andrews - - and I’ve seen a few offensive linemen, I’ve played the position, I’ve coached it, and I’m very familiar with the guys that have come through the league.

“He’s as talented a guy as ever. Then he had that series of injuries. He came back, but it took a long time and he worked his tail off. I’m proud of him for that.”

Hopefully, this latest setback for Andrews will be minor and he will be back on the field soon.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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