New York Giants Likely To Miss Sterling Shepard Another Week With Concussion

New York Giants, Sterling Shepard

Sterling Shepard’s concussion problem this season has been a thorn in the side of the New York Giants offense – Shepard came into the year as the top receiver on the team following their trade of Odell Beckham Jr., and was also fresh off getting a new contract with star caliber pay, but has only been able to make a minimal impact thanks to being sidelined with concussions for more games than not.

That’s concussions, not concussion. Shepard is on his second one this season and unlike the one that he sustained against the Bills in week two, there will be no risky early return from it. Shepard hasn’t yet gotten out of concussion protocol, and a return in week eight is looking increasingly unlikely according to reports.

The Giants have battled with bad luck all season long, whether that’s losing Golden Tate for the first four games with a surprising suspension during the offseason or losing Ryan Connelly for the entire season with an ACL tear not long ago. That’s not mentioning Saquon Barkley’s high ankle sprain in week three, which the running back has now returned from.

Just because Barkley is back, though, doesn’t mean the team can expect their star offensive player to do all the work. Barkley underperformed statistically in his first game back, although the poor blocking in the game may indicate that it’s more the fault of others than of Barkley.

With the Giants seemingly slipping to a worse and worse record every week, it seems like the team could use all the help they can get – winning while healthy is hard, but winning without all of their top names is even harder. The Giants likely won’t, however, get help in the form of  a return from Shepard.

After Shepard received another concussion not long after his first one, it’s understandable why the receiver is on a longer path to returning this time, but until that return does happen, the Giants offense will just have to try to scrap along with what they have. Even if that hasn’t been enough to win recently.

New York Giants: Janoris Jenkins being shopped by Giants (reports)

New York Giants, Janoris Jenkins

With the trade deadline winding to a close in five days, the New York Giants were expected to be sellers given their 2-5 record and hefty price tags littering the salary cap. One of those trade options is cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who was once considered a top cover corner in the league.

Jenkins has fallen off in recent years, failing to maintain consistency on the defense, and the organization’s inability to put together a winning team might have contributed in some fashion. The veteran defender is very prone to emotions, which has led him to awful performances, similar to the 190-yard, three-touchdown performance Mike Evans placed on his head in week three.

However, Jenkins can be of serious value on a contending team that has the right pieces in place and a positive atmosphere. On Thursday afternoon, defensive coordinator James Bettcher indicated that Sam Beal, who is finally returning from a hamstring injury, will play on the outside, indicating that Jenkins could be on his way out and that the Giants will move forward with the youngsters.

According to Albert Breer, Jackrabbit is on the market.

We can imagine that the Giants will aim to gain a third-round pick for his services, considering his track record and ability to be an elite player. A top team looking for corner help would benefit significantly from his experience and skill-set. Realistically, he might only garner a 4th-5th round selection.

How much will Janoris Jenkins cost the New York Giants in 2020?

Jenkins will earn a hefty $14.75 million next season, which the Giants will be looking to get off the books. He will count $3.5 million in dead-cap, which we can imagine GM Dave Gettleman is not too keen on absorbing. Gaining any value from him before the trade deadline would be a huge positive, but it would also leave a gaping hole in the secondary with rookie DeAndre Baker present to fill.

New York Giants Ready To Run Against Former Giants All-Pro Damon Harrison

The New York Giants will be facing off against the Detroit Lions on Sunday. The Giants are coming off of a week seven loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

This will be the New York Giants’ first time facing off against defensive lineman Damon Harrison since trading him away last October. The Giants received a 5th round pick in exchange for “Snacks” Harrison, the best run-stuffing lineman in the league. Since then the Giants’ run defense has been abysmal, but the Lions’ run defense has not been too stellar either.

The Lions’ Shaky Run Defense

Damon Harrison might be one of the NFL’s best run-stuffers, but the Detroit Lions defense has struggled to contain opposing running backs this season. The Lions rank 28th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed and 25th in touchdowns allowed. Detroit is also allowing running backs to rush for 4.9 yards per attempt, ranking 28th in the NFL.

The Giants offensive gameplan on Sunday should feature a heavy dosage of Saquon Barkley. Saquon returned from injury last Sunday and rushed for 72 yards and 1 touchdown on 18 attempts. Now a week healthier, Saquon should see an even bigger role in the gameplan, and could have a monster performance against the Lions’ struggling run defense.

There is only so much one player in a position group, like Harrison, can do for his defense.Granted, Detroit has a pretty strong defensive line, with free agent acquisition Trey Flowers continuing to dominate off the edge. The Lions are also benefitting from another former Giants, Devon Kennard, who has progressed his game rapidly over the past two seasons.

The major weakness of the Detroit Lions’ defense lies within their linebacker corps. Jarrad Davis is one of the lowest graded players in the league according to Pro Football Focus with an overall grade of 35.3. He has been poor in run defense, so the Giants will need to attack that weakness with run plays up the middle.

Damon “Snacks” Harrison’s 2019 Season

Running up the middle is a good idea for the Giants if they can ensure they get Saquon to the second level. Jarrad Davis has been missing tackles and will be outmatched with Saquon Barkley. But in order for the Giants to create that Barkley vs. Davis matchup, they will need to get past Damon Harrison first.

Big Snacks Harrison will be plugging the holes as the Lions’ nose tackle. Damon has been the best run-stuffer in the league for years, earning a 90+ overall Pro Football Focus grade in each of the last four seasons. But so far this year, Damon has not looked like his old self.

Through the first seven weeks, Harrison’s PFF grade is only a 63.8 overall. This grade is nowhere near the elite level of play that Harrison is known for. The former First-Team All-Pro has totaled only 15 combined tackles so far this season with just 2 tackles for loss. Damon has been relatively underwhelming this season. This, combined with the Lions’ overall poor run defense, should make for a favorable matchup on the ground for Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants.

New York Yankees could stick with Greg Bird for the future…again

New York Yankees, Greg Bird

The constant appreciation for long-distance lover Greg Bird seems to be the pride-driven mentality for New York Yankees general manager, Brian Cashman. His obsession with getting the lefty hitter healthy has damaged the success of the team at times and has instilled unnecessary faith in a player that can’t go half a season without picking up an injury.

Bird enjoyed just 41 at-bats last season, logging a .171 batting average. The previous three seasons have been lackluster for the first-baseman as he’s failed to breach the .200 mark. Cashman seems convinced that Bird will reach his potential one day, though, despite Luke Voit emerging as a better offensive option. Bird is still a fantastic defensive player, but utility man DJ LeMahieu also proved he could weather the storm at first base, taking value away from the position.

What is Greg Bird up to now for the New York Yankees?

The “Bird” is the word some would say. I would say, how the hell is the”Bird” still the word? The Yankees’ first baseman made his Dominican Winter League debut Tuesday night, hitting in the cleanup spot for the Gigantes Del Ciabo. Quite the change of scenery from Yankee Stadium just last year.

The 26-year-old enjoyed just first action since April 13, just before going down with a surprising plantar fascia tear in his left foot. His ten games last season forced the Bombers to stick with Voit and eventually traded for slugger, Edwin Encarnacion.

Will the Yankees finally cut Bird?

MLB Trade Rumors projects that Bird will earn $1.3 million via arbitration in 2020. Cashman could finally elect to cut ties with his long-time favorite prospect, but the string is too thin to remain attached. Bird could be using this opportunity in the Dominican league that he’s still able to compete at a high level — an audition in a sense.

The Yankees should move on from him and open up a spot on the 40-man roster for next season. They’re better off testing out a talent like pitching Deivi Garcia than taking anther flier on Greg.

 

New York Mets: Joe Girardi to the Phillies

New York Yankees, Yankees, Joe Girardi

Joe Girardi was the manager the New York Mets needed, a gift who was available at a perfect time for the franchise. In typical Jeff Wilpon fashion, he disappoints the organization and their fans by letting him go to the rival Phillies. This almost assures the next manager of the Mets to be under a large amount of scrutiny from day one.

At the moment, the only information available is that the Phillies were much more aggressive on pursuing Girardi. Girardi could have been perfect for the Mets. He won championships as a player and manager in New York, managed in the NL before and had the most managing experience. Girardi even continued to live in New York after his job managing the Yankees came to an end. Jeff

How to Salvage this Mess?

The Mets have to bring in a candidate the fans and organization can be confident in. Wilpon did not foresee a relationship with Girardi working out and he was simply too cheap to hire him. This shows the direction the franchise is moving in now. The manager is going take orders from the Wilpon’s, Brodie Van Wagenen and the analytic department.

We would put a tweet about Wilpon here, but it is hard to find anything that was not profanity laced

This a very dangerous path for the Mets go down. Unfortunately, the mess is unsalvageable and the only real fix will be the players carrying them to a World Series despite the incompetence of the front office. It is hard to think any of the other candidates will have the power Girardi would have garnered, which leaves a very talented team in a compromising position.

 

The New York Knicks season began with an intriguing loss

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

The New York Knicks kicked off their season in San Antonio last evening.  The team supported their new statement uniforms on the road against the Spurs.

The game was interesting to say the least.  The Knicks started the game with lackadaisical defense as the Spurs jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter.  Their defense was sub-par as the Spurs were manhandling them on the glass for the entire game.

However, the Knicks were able to make things interesting going on multiple double-digit runs to get back into the game and take the lead.  At one point, the Knicks were up 7 points in second half, having total control of the game.

But, as all Knicks fans know, that doesn’t last.  The Spurs continued to dominate the boards and got to the basket seemingly at will.  Their shooting was something else as well, as it seemed like every big shot went in.

Despite the awful rebounding, help defense and careless fouls and passes, the Knicks played better then expected.  The refs were not on the Knicks side, they never are.  The fouls were 32-12 in favor of the Knicks.  Horrendous.

Point guard situation 

RJ Barrett and Allonzo Trier was the starting back-court with Barrett running point.  He is not a true point guard, but coach David Fizdale had enough confidence in him to be the guy.  This comes after Fizdale saying that none of the three true point guards on the roster earned the starting spot.

After an initial rocky start, the offense got grooving.  Everyone was pushing the ball up the floor and it was paying dividends. Elfrid Payton helped greatly.  Payton had a very strong showing running the offense when Trier when out.  He ran the offense well and was able to push the tempo and his teammates followed.  Payton’s performance, despite his fouling, made him the clear favorite for the starting point guard job.

Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina did not make things easier on themselves trying to get that job.  Smith Jr. couldn’t contain Dejounte Murray or Bryn Forbes, as they ran circles around the rusty Smith Jr.  His shot still needs loads of work.  Ntilikina had careless passes which led to easy Spur baskets in big situations.

Despite the negatives, the New York Knicks play was captivating.  Barrett, Julius Randle and Marcus Morris stole the show.  Those three provided the Knicks with big time offense when needed.  Kevin Knox, too, had huge back-to-back threes for the Knicks.  Even though it’s only one game, his shot looks stronger then last season.

Randle, Barrett, Payton and Morris sparked the team to have a lot of energy and cohesiveness.  The teams defense was ‘tenacious’ as Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier would say.  They got steals when needed, leading to fast breaks led by Barrett and Payton.  The rebounding was atrocious but they can work on that.  Getting Mitchell Robinson will be a big boost.

However, the Knicks had a decent showing.  A lot of positives and negatives but the Knicks played hard and like a team.  It’s an encouraging start for this young squad.

The Washington Nationals Jump Out To 2-0 World Series Lead

Could the New York Yankees pursue Max Scherzer in a trade?

The Washington Nationals have taken a 2-0 series lead over the Houston Astros after dominating them 12-3 in game two on Wednesday night. They won game one on Tuesday by a score of 5-4. The most impressive part of their 2-0 series lead is the fact that both games were won on the road against the Astros two best pitchers.

The Nats scored five off of Gerrit Cole in game one, getting some very timely hitting unlike what the New York Yankees did in the ALCS. They tagged four off of Justin Verlander in game two before getting three off of Ryan Pressley.

Anthony Rendon hit a two-run double in the first inning before Alex Bregman responded with a two-run homerun. It stayed tied at two until the seventh when the Nationals put up a six-spot thanks to a solo-shot off the bat of Kurt Suzuki and three weakly hit singles. They put up three more in the eighth and one more in the ninth.

Now, the series shifts back to Washington for the next three games. Anibal Sanchez gets the ball on Friday against Zack Greinke, and Patrick Corbin will get the ball on Saturday as the Astros will go with a bullpen game.

The real question is, what happened to the Astros? They’ve played awful in the World Series. The best part of their team, their starting pitching, has failed them and now their backs are against the wall.

Friday is absolutely a must win game for Houston. Losing on Friday puts them down 3-0, forcing them to win their next four for another title. To have a shot, they ideally need to sweep in D.C., but may be able to make two of three on the road work.

If they want a shot, the Astros need to figure a lot out fast.

New York Giants could trade Nate Solder and pursue another left tackle as replacement

New York Giants, Nate Solder

With rumors popping up that the Cleveland Browns are interested in trading for New York Giants left tackle, Nate Solder, it begs the question: Does it makes sense?

Solder carries a massive cap-hit into next season at $19.5 million, but Big Blue has an out in his contract after 2019 that would count $13 million dead cap. With a lack of trusted left tackles in the league, sending him on his way and taking that type of hit would be ludicrous, but trading him, however, is a great alternative.

With the Browns prickling their ears for offers, sending him for a mid-round pick would be a great idea, on one condition — the Giants have a capable replacement for him.

Currently, on the roster, there’s nothing that resembles a left tackle, not that Solder has looked any better than a turnstile this season. Getting anything from a monster deal like his would be positive, and getting his massive cap hit off the books would be a benefit. It would open up nearly $20 million in cap space and give general manager Dave Gettleman the green light to draft a top tackle in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Who could the New York Giants pursue at left tackle?

Trent Williams of the Washington Redskins seems to be the most glaring option, given his quality in the past and $14.75 million cap hit next season. He will also only cost $2 million in dead-cap if the Giants wanted to cut him for whatever reason.

Williams requested a trade from Washington months ago after concern surfaced over a medical clearance. He has since sat idly by while the team holds onto his contract and pays him to sit on the couch. It seems like a pretty sweet deal to me, but with the trade deadline closing in, the Skins could be using him as leverage to gain draft capital. If you’re the Giants, trading Solder and snagging Williams would be a fantastic turn of events.

In 2018, the last time Williams featured in the NFL, he earned a PFF grade of 74, compared to Solder’s 64 this season. It would be a massive upgrade for a lesser cost, but the capital that would be exchanged for the left tackle would likely make up the difference in play-quality, plus some.

This hypothetical looks fantastic on paper, but it would take a lot of luck for a double-deal like this to happen.

New York Knicks: Elfrid Payton wins starting point guard spot by a landslide

New York Knicks, Knicks

If Dennis Smith Jr. was looking to become the New York Knicks starting point guard for the 2019-20 season, he likely should have brought his A-game to the opener against the San Antonio Spurs. Facing off against a quality team, Smith played just 10 minutes, mainly because he heaved up three ill-advised shots, and connected on a drive to the rim.

Smith finished 1-for-4 with one assist in limited action, but his porous shot selection told his ever-lasting story of bad decisions and mental mistakes. With all of the athletic tools to become a bonafide star, he continues to take low-percentage shots and play with a selfish mentality.

This ultimately allowed Elfrid Payton to take the starting job right out from under him, and he did just that in the Knicks’ first game o the year. Playing 26 minutes, Payton was 4-for-9 with 11 points. His primary influence came on defense, though, as he picked up five steals on the night, earning a +14 +/- rating.

Payton was the spark the Knicks needed to mount a significant comeback and lead the game by seven at one point. With fatigue setting in, the Knicks allowed the Spurs to storm ahead by double digits late in the game, putting a chance a victory out of reach.

The point guard position battle is looking complete for the New York Knicks:

Head coach David Fizdale started his second season with the Knicks featuring a very peculiar starting five. He virtually dropped a point guard from the lineup and tossed Alonzo Trier out there to do a whole lot of nothing. Trier had zero points on three attempts. He was pulled after just seven minutes and didn’t see the floor after his initial start.

Second-year man Kevin Knox earned more playing time as the game went on, hitting back-to-back three-pointers at one point.  He alternated with Marcus Morris a fair amount. Rookie RJ Barrett filled in at the point guard position for a few minutes, given Fizdale’s lack of trust in Smith and Frank Ntilikina, while Payton rested.

The veteran will undoubtedly star the next game for New York, and it’s well deserved after an impressive performance in the loss.

New York Giants news, 10/24 – Is Pat Shurmur running out of time? Nate Solder, Sterling Shepard

New York Giants, Pat Shurmur, James Bettcher

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

With a low-pressure system moving through the New York Giants ranks, carrying bad energy, and narratives that would derail most locker-rooms, it’s safe to say, nobody is safe. Maybe, general manager Dave Gettleman is protected on his pedestal, for now, but head coach Pat Shurmur must be questioning his abilities to manage this team.

Shurmur was a significant factor in losing to the Arizona Cardinals at home last week in the pouring rain, and receiver Golden Tate said it perfectly, “we cannot be wasting the money of hard-working people.” He’s right, and Shurmur needs to start considering the fact that his awful time management decision and bone-headed play calls have serious implications on people’s emotions and willingness to drop thousands of dollars every season to watch a losing team.

Owner John Mara has to be sitting in his luxury box wondering the same thing. Is Shurmur really capable of handling this team? At times, it seems as if he can be a great coach, but at others his mental mishaps cost the team wins. Beating a team like Arizona at home is a must, and losing due to coaching mistakes is a huge red flag. While I don’t believe Shurmur is on the hot seat, if he continues to make similar mistakes, there’s no question the Giants will have to make a difficult decision.

Sterling Shepard update:

The Giants’ top pass-catcher it working through concussion protocol despite having been without symptoms for nearly two weeks. Shepard is 100 percent returning within the next two weeks, as NorthJersey.com reported (see below for link).

“Oh, I’ll be back out on the field,” Shepard told NorthJersey.com. “It’s just whether it’s gonna be this week or next week.”

“I’m just leaning [on the advice of what is said] medically, and I’m going to listen to my body,” Shepard said. “I know what my body is supposed to feel like, and when I feel like I’m ready to come back, then I’ll come back. But, I’ve been feeling that way for two weeks. It’s kinda them just protecting me from myself, I guess you can say, but I’m trying to get back as soon as possible, and just waiting to hear their thoughts.”

With Solder receiving interest from the Cleveland Browns, according to reports, the New York Giants have an opportunity to unload his $19.5 million cap-hit from next season. Trading him away leaves the Giants with no help at the left tackle position, but there haven’t been any all seasons after looking at his film.

Solder is currently ranked as the team’s worst tackles and offensive lineman, which is extremely concerning considering his lucrative contract signed in the offseason of 2018. Collecting a mid-round pick for him and getting his number off the books makes sense if the Giants can figure out a backup plan.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

Art Stapleton – Exclusive: NY Giants Sterling Shepard confident he’ll return from concussion soon and play

Paul Schwartz – Intriguing trade possibilities as Giants reality clear

Mark Schofield – About those 8 sacks: Let’s study what happened on each sack of Daniel Jones on Sunday

Paul Schwartz – Proof that Giants’ Pat Shurmur is relying on analytics too much
Cay North – New York Giants Receiver Golden Tate Shows Frustration With Early Games