With injuries and suspensions to star players comes chances for lesser known players to shine and that’s exactly the position that New York Giants receivers Cody Latimer and Bennie Fowler are in following the news that Golden Tate will likely miss the start of the season with suspension and that Corey Coleman will be out with a torn ACL. It seems Sterling Shepard will be back for week one following a fractured thumb if things go well, but that’s about the only good news the team has gotten at the receiver position recently.
Latimer will likely find himself in the starting lineup, at least at the start of the season, as Coleman was considered the main competition for him and Russell Shepard. Now that Coleman is injured and Tate will likely be suspended for the first games of the season, both Latimer and Russell Shepard will likely find themselves as the main receivers playing next to Sterling Shepard.
“We’re just a bunch of hungry guys. Bennie and Russell are so humble and just so hungry. Watching them every day and the excitement they bring, it motivates me. Me and Bennie have been competing for years now and to see him never slouch, every day is always bringing it and always hungry,” Latimer said on Wednesday.
Fowler and Latimer were teammates on the Denver Broncos before the former ended up spending time with the Patriots and Bears and the latter ended up in New York before their eventual reunion. Fowler ended up playing in 10 games last season and scored one touchdown for the Giants, a number that may improve with a full season to work with.
“We don’t know what’s going to go on with Golden, but we know [Sterling Shepard is] going to be back. It’ll be Cody, [Russell Shepard] and Sterling out there, just like how we finished the Dallas Cowboys game last year,” Fowler stated.
It remains to be seen just how effective the Giants will be with no Beckham and now no Tate, at least for the first four games of the season. If there is one fringe benefit of the situation, however, it’s that there’s room for players such as Russell Shepard and Latimer to take the spotlight a bit more and improve with regular season experience that isn’t limited as much by being low in the rotation… At least for the first four games of the season.
Will this receiver corps be enough to prevent another early season skid that turns into a worse one as the season continues, like the one that happened last year? We’ll just have to wait and see.