Seubert likely lost for season

An already slim offensive line just got another 305 pounds leaner. With just under two minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Giants lost LG Rich Seubert, who suffered a fractured right tibia. Tiki Barber followed Seubert's lead block for no gain. Eagles DE N.D. Kalu crashed down on Seubert, likely ending his 2003 campaign in the process.<BR><BR>

Seubert was taken to the Hospital for Special Surgery and had surgery only hours after the game ended.

The Giants faithful, who witnessed Seubert waving his arms in pain immediately following the play, gave Seubert an ovation as he was carted off the field. Seubert responded by waving a towel to the crowd.

"It was a run to our side, and someone fell on his leg," LT Luke Petitgout said. "The way it was broken, somebody must have hit him on the inside of his leg. His foot probably got caught in the turf. His leg was bent in a place that doesn't bend."

Center Wayne Lucier didn't see the injury.

"I don't even know what happened," Lucier said. "His guy may have slanted, and there was a big pile."

Seubert, who signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent in April 2001, has been a vital member of this new and unheralded offensive line since taking over as the starting left guard in 2002. He made his first career start in the season opener against San Francisco, and never looked back.

"This is a big loss," QB Kerry Collins said. "The guy is playing outstanding football, and maybe on his way to an all-pro year. We're going to miss him."

Seubert started every game in 2002, and his stellar play contributed to much of the Giants' offensive line success. New York's OL surrendered only 24 sacks all season. Seubert's knack for picking up opposing blitzes helped the Giants average 364.1 yards per game (246.9 in the air), which ranked them sixth in the NFL in total offense and passing yardage.

"It hurts to lose a guy of that character," RT Chris Bober said. "He's an emotional leader, a great player, and great friend. Hopefully this will bring us closer together."

No one is closer to Seubert than his linemate Petitgout.

"I wanted to cry," Petitgout said. "Losing Rich is a major loss, especially for me. He was my co-pilot. We developed a good chemistry together. Those guys look to me, him, and Bober for leadership."

Rookie free agent Jeff Roehl, who played left tackle against Dallas in Week Two, will take over left guard responsibilities in Seubert's absence. He will join rookie colleagues Lucier and RG David Diehl on the interior line.

"Jeff's going to have to step right in," Diehl said. "We have to work hard and move on."

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