EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich was an Eagles fan while attending Conestoga High School, so few people are more excited about Sunday night's game at Lincoln Financial Field between the two NFC East rivals.

"It's one of the best rivalries in football anywhere," Herzlich said. "To be part of it and to know what the Philly fans think and to be on the other side of it is pretty neat for me."

Actually, just being on the football field is a great experience for the second-year linebacker from Boston College. Herzlich missed the entire 2009 college football season because of Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. He signed with the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent on July 28 of last year.

Herzlich played 11 games as a rookie, making two starts, but he missed the final five regular-season contests and all four playoff games after suffering an ankle injury Nov. 28 against New Orleans.

Now he is back and has appeared in all three games this season for the Giants, mainly on special teams. He says his second season is a world of difference from his rookie year.

"I feel so much better than I did last year," he said. "The farther way I get from treatment the better I feel and the faster I am."

Herzlich said he doesn't get razzed by his teammates for growing up an Eagles fan, but he received some good-natured ribbing when he first joined the team.

"The only time they gave me a hard time was when I did a 60 Minutes interview before I signed with the Giants and I had an Eagles shirt on," he said. "That didn't go over well."

- Marc Narducci