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C David Baas Back in the Mix

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Tom Coughlin all but confirmed his intention to play David Baas on Saturday during Thursday's post-practice Q&A with the media.

When asked if he's taking Kevin Boothe out because Baas is practicing again, Coughlin gave this response: "He is not very far away, he is right next to him. We will be better and we will just keep getting better."

In other words, Boothe will be close by at left guard while Baas takes back his role as center.

Baas, who missed the last three games with a neck injury and related headaches, practiced again on Thursday, making that the third day in a row. Boothe, the utility lineman, filled in while Baas was out and Mitch Petrus came out of a backup role to play left guard. 

"I'm getting back into football and looking forward to this week, especially," Baas said. "I don't have to say anything about this game. I'm happy to get a sweat back going and get my brain working again. It's good to be back out there."

The Giants have started a different unit than the previous week in half of their 14 games this season. The combination of Boothe and Petrus did yield better results statistically, but not in the column that matters.

"Statistically we were better than we have been in terms of yards per carry or whatever," Boothe said. "But bottom line, we went 1-2. I don't think anybody cares how much you run for if you went 3-0. If you went 3-0 and ran for 20 yards the last few weeks, I think it wouldn't even be an issue right now. So whatever it takes to win, we're going to do it to the best of our abilities."

During that stretch, the Giants averaged just over 100 yards per game, 14 more than their NFL-worst average of 86.1. They also averaged 4.5 yards per carry compared to their 3.4 ledger for the season.

But don't disregard Baas. He has started nine games since signing with the Giants this season without the aid of a training camp while dealing with the lingering neck problem. 

"Probably not a year I would have expected," Baas said. "But this will be my 10th game. Boothe has done a good job in filling in. It's not like I've forgot. I've played a lot of football here. I plan on playing a lot of football here for a long time. But injury is part of the game. Since week two, I've been dealing with a lot of them.

"It's tough because you just want the guys to know -- you know a lot of guys here haven't been around me a whole lot so they don't really know what type of guy I am. And I'm not going to sit out with a headache. There's a lot more that I've been pushing through all season that things have been more serious. It takes a lot for me to sit out. I put my heart and soul out there for the team."

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