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Pro Football Weekly's Eric Edholm brings you hot news and the inside scoop about the NFL.

Giants' demotion of Umenyiora, Robbins is a sign of their desperation to make things work

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Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

Tom Coughlin hasn't confirmed anything, but it appears that the workloads of starting DLs Osi Umenyiora and Fred Robbins will be reduced.

Both could start the game on the bench Sunday in the Giants' pivotal game against the Cowboys.

Umenyiora generally is regarded as the Giants' best defender. He has had a sub-par season, though, by his lofty standards. Run defense has been a problem at times, and he has been a culprit, along with many others. Mathias Kiwanuka, who is regarded as more of a pass rusher, could take his place. It's an interesting move to say the least. If it goes down, that is.

So with Jonathan Goff also expected to start at middle linebacker and C.C. (known as "Can't Cover" by angry Giants fans) Brown likely to sub for injured Michael Johnson at strong safety, you're likely going to see a different Giants defense out there Sunday.

Not that Umenyiora and Robbins won't play, but their snaps certainly could be reduced. Robbins has not been at the same level last he was at the start of the 2007 season. He has held the point OK but no longer is capable of disrupting. Chris Canty, who has battled a calf injury most of the season, finally gets a chance to earn some cash that he got in the offseason.

We'll see how the Giants respond. Anytime you make mass substitutions like this, there's a serious roll of the dice. But they do appear a bit desperate, don't they?

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