After a resounding defeat by the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1, the New York Giants are in a bit of a pickle as they prepare to lock horns with the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2. While star tight end Darren Waller has escaped the injury list, star left tackle Andrew Thomas and up-and-coming pass rusher Azeez Ojulari might not be so fortunate.
The Andrew Thomas Dilemma: A Key Lineman at Risk
Andrew Thomas is a critical component of the Giants’ offensive line, and he’s currently on the mend from a hamstring injury. After a limited participation in Friday’s practice, there’s a cautious atmosphere surrounding his availability for the game against Arizona.
If Thomas were to aggravate his injury, it could spell disaster, putting him on the bench for several weeks—a situation the Giants can ill afford. Although he’s considering toughing it out as he’s done before, this could be a risky gamble.
Thomas played 53 snaps in the Week 1 game against Dallas despite pulling his hamstring in the first quarter. He allowed three pressures but still managed a solid performance. One strategic option might be to rest him for Week 3, especially considering the menacing San Francisco 49ers pass rush that lies ahead.
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Azeez Ojulari: A Promising Talent for the Giants on the Sidelines
The Giants have significant expectations for their third-year pass rusher, Azeez Ojulari. However, injuries have plagued him; he clocked just 252 snaps last season, contributing 20 pressures and six sacks in that limited time.
Adding to the injury woes, Ojulari strained his hamstring in practice this week and spent Friday’s session preparing for Week 2 on the sidelines. Given these circumstances, his availability for the game looks grim.
In the Week 1 face-off against Dallas, Ojulari was on the field for 32 snaps and recorded a single assist. The Cowboys’ limited passing game made it challenging for the Giants’ pass rush to produce impressive stats. While Ojulari possesses the raw attributes of a productive pass rusher, he won’t be of much impact if he can’t maintain his health.
The Giants are already dealing with a less-than-ideal start to the season, and the prospect of playing without two such important players in Week 2 isn’t helping their cause.