Mallard challenges for playing time.

New York Giants rookie outside linebacker Wesly Mallard was playing so well he had challenged starter Dhani Jones for the job on the weak side, but since the season started he has been sidelined with a hip bruise. Mallard played linebacker for the Oregon Ducks in college.

"I am feeling much better," he says, "and I am hoping for a chance to play Sunday."

The 6-1, 225-pounder is blessed with great speed, not unlike the man he and Dhani are trying to replace, Jessie Armstead. Mallard is listed as probable for Sunday.

Mallard played two years of high school football in the United States before finishing his prep career in Korea. A player known for his ferocious hits, Mallard finished his career at Oregon with a total of 162 total tackles, 89 of those were solo tackles and 15 sacks. Mallard led the team in the 2001 season with 111 total tackles, 59 solo tackles and 12 sacks. Mallard also had an 11:47 second time in the 100 meters while participating on the Ducks' track team.

Mallard was selected by the Giants in the sixth round with 188th pick, in last spring's NFL draft. contributed to this story.

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