Giants Bench Slot Receiver: ‘I definitely was shocked’

New York Giants wide receiver Parris Campbell (0) catches the ball in front of cornerback Darnay Holmes (30) during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Facility
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants had one slot receiver stand out against the Green Bay Packers this past Monday night, Wan’Dale Robinson, who collected 115 yards from scrimmage, including a 32-yard-long rushing attempt and a 32-yard reception to ice the game and give the Giants the win.

Robinson stood out significantly, but it was at the expense of their free agent signing this past off-season, Parris Campbell. Campbell, another slot receiver, was a healthy scratch against the Packers, which he didn’t see coming.

The 26-year-old is coming off a good season with the Indianapolis Colts, producing 623 receiving yards and three touchdowns. This year, he’s only caught 20 passes for 104 yards and a 74.1% reception rate. He’s played 80.8% of his snaps in the slot, but the Giants are looking to the future, and Robinson gives them a better chance at moving the ballfield.

“Yeah, I definitely was shocked,” Campbell told the Daily News on Wednesday. “Shoot, I was more so just hurt, more than anything… hurt that I know what I put into it each and every week. And to be inactive for the first time in my career was definitely hurtful, was definitely shocking. A lot of different emotions [are] going on, for sure.”

Campbell has a tremendous work ethic and has battled back from a number of injuries in the past, so this news was certainly a surprise. Obviously, he wants to help the team, especially since they’ve won three consecutive games and are trying to make a push toward the playoffs. However, the fact they benched him certainly indicates that the team is willing to do whatever it takes, even if it means displaying a lack of loyalty at times.

The Giants did one thing right in this process: Informing Campbell ahead of the game instead of making it a surprise in the final moments. Campbell was appreciative of that respect, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less.

“I was grateful for that, because they respected me enough to tell me early enough, and it wasn’t a blindside shock right before the game,” he said. “So I 100 percent respected that. That doesn’t take any hurt away or any pain or frustration away from it, but I definitely respected that.”

The Giants Are Preparing For Reinforcements

With Robinson dominating and Darren Waller expected to return any week, it is unlikely that Campbell will get another shot to be a prominent piece in the offense.

Clearly, benching him is not only a production decision but also a financial one. The athletic receiver signed a heavy incentive-laden contract, so the Giants are trying to keep those numbers down and save as much money as possible. This isn’t ideal from his perspective, and he will have a small sample size of action to showcase his worth as an impending free agent. However, the Giants are doing what’s in their best interest, and Campbell will certainly be leaving after this season comes to an end.

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