NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Giants desperately need a break on their offensive line.
They appeared to dodge a major bullet earlier this week when it was announced that left guard Geoff Schwartz would not need surgery for his dislocated toe. He was expected to be in a walking boot for 7-10 days and then begin rehabilitation.
But on Friday, the NFL Network's Kim Jones reported that the big lineman's return may not come as quickly as first thought.
Later, head coach Tom Coughlin told reporters a conservative estimate for Schwartz's return is a minimum of 3-4 weeks, meaning the idea of short-term IR is certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
Schwartz going on short-term injured reserve would be a win-lose scenario. The Giants would be allowed to play with a full roster, but Schwartz, who signed a four-year, $16.8 million contract in the offseason, is by far their most experienced lineman. To go without him during the transition to new coordinator Ben McAdoo's version of the West Coast offense could prove detrimental to the team's chances coming off a disappointing 2013 season in which they finished 7-9.
For now, rookie Weston Richburg has assumed Schwartz's role at left guard.
Anther reasons why Schwartz would be sorely missed is because quarterback Eli Manning is already coming off a brutal preseason where even opponents have taken notice of his problems. The Giants were supposed to play their first team offense for around 18 snaps during Thursday's final preseason game against the New England Patriots, but Manning completed just one pass and Coughlin was so disgusted he pulled the unit after just eight plays.
Manning completed the five preseason games 20-of-41 for 188 yards and the first-team offense scored just one touchdown.
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