New York Giants Back on the David Baas Injury Watch List

Veteran Center’s Knee Could Force Another Offensive Line Reshuffling

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New York Giants Back on the David Baas Injury Watch List
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New York Giants center David Baas (64) might be done for the year with a knee injury.

COMMENTARY | The New York Giants' celebration of their first victory of the season was muted a bit because of yet another injury to the offensive line.

Center David Baas, who missed three games already this season because of a neck problem, left Monday night's 23-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings with a knee injury and was scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday, according to ESPN.com.

Baas has a feeling he knows the verdict.

"We think we ahve an idea what it is," Baas told the website. "Hopefully it's not what we think, but we'll see. Obviously it's frustrating, because you feel like you can't catch a break. But it is what it is."

The speculation from Baas' comment is that he's torn the ACL in his left knee, something that would knock him out of action for the rest of the season.

Baas was signed as a free agent in July 2011 to replace Shaun O'Hara, who retired after the Giants released him.

Baas started just 11 games in 2011 and didn't play in the team's playoff victories over the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers en route to their Super Bowl title. He started all 16 games a season ago, but played poorly while battling a variety of nagging injuries.

If Baas' is out again, Jim Cordle, a third-year man out of Ohio State, would likely take his place, as he did for the games Baas missed earlier this year.

The offensive line is already without veteran guard Chris Snee, who is on injured reserve with a hip problem that could be career-threatening. The Giants are 31st in the NFL in rushing yards at 67.3 per game and Eli Manning has already been sacked 18 times this season compared to 19 all of last season. Veteran Will Beatty has struggled at left tackle. Justin Pugh has made his share of rookie mistakes at right tackle and Kevin Boothe nor David Diehl should be lining up to count their Pro Bowl votes at guard.

The positive for the Giants out of Monday night is that they did, in fact, win a football game. Another positive is that Big Blue plays in the NFC East, which has emerged this year as the worst division in the NFL.

At 1-6, New York trails the Dallas Cowboys by three games (with a head-to-head loss on the books), so a return to relevance is mathematically possible.

But with the offensive line banged up and Baas likely done for the year, the reality is that the playoffs are likely nothing but a pipe dream at that.

Looking at Baas' situation from a broader view, he's been a disappointment in his three seasons with the Giants, but still has two years remaining on the five-year, $27.5 million deal he signed in 2011. According to spotrac.com, the cap hit for Baas' final two seasons is enormous: There's nearly $9.7 million in dead money for 2014-15, including almost $6.5 million in 2014.

Baas has restructured his contract in each of the last two offseasons, deferring $2.1 million in 2012 and another $3 million this spring. Unfortunately, general manager Jerry Reese has been robbing Peter to pay Paul (or, in this case, David).

That makes David Baas both a short-term (because of the injury) and a long-term (because of the cap implications) issue for Big Blue.

From what we've seen in 2013, the offensive line could use a makeover. But with so much money already tied up for the next two seasons on just one player, it may have to be a quick ... and cheap ... fix.

Phil Watson is a freelance commentator and journalist who covers the New York Giants, New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets for the Yahoo Contributor Network. He is also editor of brewers101.com and holds an editorial position at HoopsHabit.com.

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