Weekend mailbag: Canty's knee, RG3's line

August, 11, 2012
8/11/12
10:59
AM ET
Sure. It's been a while, and we don't have another preseason game until Monday night. So why not?

Dave in New Brunswick, N.J. (woo-hoo!), says he's hearing conflicting reports on the health of New York Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty. Some (including Canty) are saying he'll be back in time for Week 1. Others are saying, according to Dave, that he could be out until November or all year as he recovers. Dave would like to know what the deal is.

Dan Graziano: Dave, in a case like this, I don't think you can trust what the player is saying. As I understand it, Canty had a more significant surgery than was initially thought, and the timetable for his recovery remains murky. Until you see him back on the field, I think you (and the Giants) have to operate as though you can't count on him. This is why it's important to be watching guys like Marvin Austin and Shaun Rogers, who provide intriguing depth for the Giants at the position.

Craig in Harrisburg, Pa., wants to know why right guard Chris Chester hasn't been mentioned in any of the dire reports about the Washington Redskins' offensive line. And Mike in Va., suggests that the offensive line concerns might be overblown, since he doesn't expect Robert Griffin III to operate strictly as a pocket passer and the line is likely going to be have to be athletic and operate on the move anyway.

DG: Mike, I agree with you and I think the Redskins share your belief that Griffin's running ability will help ameliorate the issues with the line. At this point they really just want to get five guys healthy and playing together for a stretch of time -- no matter which five they are. As for Chester, Craig, it's probably a no-news-is-good-news kind of thing. He'll likely be better in his second year in the Redskins' system, and right now he's healthy, which sets him apart from a few of their other linemen.

Tyler in Trenton, N.J. (woot woot), asks if it's "out of the question" that Philadelphia Eagles backup running back Dion Lewis could be the second-best running back in the NFC East this year. Tyler speculates that Lewis' role could be expanded to the point where he's used the way Darren Sproles is used in New Orleans.

DG: I guess nothing's ever "out of the question," Tyler, but I'd be surprised. Lewis looks like a fine prospect, but he's not a finished product. Starting running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and DeMarco Murray in New York and Dallas are very good players -- better backs, at this point, than Lewis. And Evan Royster, Roy Helu and Tim Hightower in Washington all have shown more in their careers than Lewis has. I can understand the high hopes for someone with Lewis' raw ability, but I'd caution against excessive expectations in his second year playing behind the excellent LeSean McCoy.

Michael from Minot, N.D., wants to know why Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett likes Kevin Ogletree so much when he's "never shown an ability to actually play the game" and guys like Tim Benford and Cole Beasley are doing good things in camp as they try to get into that No. 3 receiver mix.

DG: Garrett's had Ogletree longer and has clearly seen something to indicate he has a chance to blossom. Perhaps he just knows him better than he knows those other guys and has convinced himself he can make him a success story. Perhaps he believes the best way to maximize Ogletree's chances to blossom is to continue to offer him praise and encouragement in public. Perhaps they're trying to pump him up so they can trade him somewhere. I do not know how the Cowboys' No. 3 receiver situation will shake out, but you are correct that Ogletree is the first name Garrett offers when he discusses candidates.

Oh, and Nick from Wilmington, you are correct. The Garrett Reid news did dominate this week's Eagles coverage on the blog, and I think for good reason. But have no fear, I still have plenty in my notebook from my trip to Lehigh, and I won't forget to use it. Thanks for asking so nicely.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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