EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Marshall Newhouse lost his starting job as the New York Giants' right tackle because of a calf injury.
Another calf injury got the 28-year-old back in the lineup, but not where he expected.
Newhouse got his first substantial playing time since the second week of the season on Sunday when he took over for the injured Brett Jones and played left guard for more than three quarters in the Giants' 21-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
It was the first time he played guard since the 2013 season, when injuries on the Green Bay Packers' line forced him to switch from tackle.
''I went in there and just stunk up the joint,'' Newhouse said Wednesday, recalling his last outing at guard. ''I wasn't ready for that. I had not taken any reps and was not prepared mentally for that. It was a different time in my career.''
The last time he played guard before that was at Lake Highlands High School in Dallas.
His performance Sunday was a lot better as the Giants (6-3) rushed for a season-high 122 yards in winning their fourth straight game.
With Jones still limited and regular left guard Justin Pugh expected to be sidelined a couple more weeks with a strained knee, Newhouse seemingly will be the left guard when New York hosts Chicago (2-7) on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Newhouse, who has played tackle most of his football career, said the difference between playing guard and tackle is huge. The way a player uses his hands, feet and hips on plays are totally different. The sets are different, as are the players who line up next to you.
Playing right tackle, Newhouse had guard John Jerry on his left and either space or a tight end on his right. At left guard, the seven-year veteran has tackle Ereck Flowers on his left and center Weston Richburg on his right.
''I have taken mental reps before, but as far as taking consistent preparation reps, this is new for me,'' he said. ''I am just trying to attack it and stay aggressive and try and have fun with it.''
Jones was hurt on the opening series and Newhouse took over on the second series. He was playing against someone he had never faced - Bengals tackle Geno Atkins, one of the NFL's best.
''I felt like I held my own,'' said Newhouse, who missed five games with the calf injury and only returned the previous week against Philadelphia. ''I felt encouraged. There is a lot of stuff detail-wise that I will get better at, and stuff that I just need reps at. But I came away very encouraged.''
Newhouse said he knew all his assignments in the game, but his muscle memory was not all there.
On most teams, starters who are injured usually get their job back when they are healthy again. The Giants opted to let second-year lineman Bobby Hart keep the right tackle job after he did well in Newhouse's absence.
Chicago outside linebacker Pernell McPhee created some bulletin board material for the Giants, saying the Bears are ''gonna tear'' them up and sack Eli Manning this weekend.
The Giants have allowed just 13 sacks, including 12 on Manning. The Bears' defense ranks 11th overall and is tied for eighth in sacks with 24. McPhee has two sacks in three games after starting the season on the physically unable to perform list following offseason knee surgery.
''There is a difference between doing that pregame and then finding out what happens in the game,'' Newhouse said.
NOTES: Jones (calf), G Adam Gettis (calf), WR Dwayne Harris (toe) and Pugh did not practice. WR Victor Cruz (ankle) and RB Orleans Darkwa (leg) were limited. Cruz and Pugh did not play last week. ... Coach Ben McAdoo on young players: ''It's like the Dow, it's development. It's not always going to go up. There are going to be ups and downs and you stick with them if they're working hard in practice and working to get better and they're learning. They're going to improve.''
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