There were several times during Sunday's 19-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles where New York Giants center David Baas appeared to be having trouble getting the ball back to quarterback Eli Manning in the shotgun formation. There were also a few instances where the snap exchange was less than stellar. Initially, it was chalked up to a bad day for Baas, but it sounds like the veteran may have had a legitimate excuse for his uncharacteristic struggles.
"His hand was all swollen. He rolled three [snaps] back," head coach Tom Coughlin said Monday. "David has a big old swollen hand today and that contributed to it I’m sure."
Although no details were given on the severity of the swelling, the injury or when it was sustained, the fact that it caused such issues on Sunday night is troubling. To have a hand swollen to such an extent that a football can not be properly gripped raises red flags. And it was only a year ago that offensive tackle David Diehl suffered similar swelling in his hand, only to have it revealed during the offseason that his finger was broken and needed six surgical screws to correct.
For a tackle or a guard in the NFL, it's something that can be wrapped up or casted and played with. For a center, who needs to feel and grip the ball, it's a worst case scenario … and it's something Coughlin was unaware of until after the fact.
"You know, he never came out and said it was an issue to the point where wasn’t going to do his job. Now you don’t want to see the ball roll back obviously," Coughlin added.
Coughlin added that he had not considered moving Kevin Boothe to center on Sunday night, but don't be shocked if it's an idea he toys with in the event that Baas' hand swelling does not subside.
Photo Credit: Mike Gannon
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