Every game for the New York Giants moving forward is a must-win if they want to make a push at a playoff appearance this season. Losing to the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys in consecutive games undoubtedly put Big Blue in a difficult spot, especially with injuries plaguing the roster.
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The New York Giants are getting several starters back from injury:
However, head coach Brian Daboll expects the team to return several starters in Week 13 against the Washington Commanders. Notably, right tackle Evan Neal, tight end Daniel Bellinger, left guard Ben Bredeson and linebacker Azeez Ojulari are all in line to make recoveries and feature as the Giants prepare for the final stretch of the regular season.
“I think all those guys are improving,” said Daboll. “They’ll have three good days of treatment here coming up. We’ll see where we’re at on Monday.”
The Giants have been without rookie tackle Evan Neal since Week 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars when he suffered a sprained MCL.
Over 392 offensive snaps, Neal gave up five sacks and 16 total pressures but was starting to hit his stride before the injury. The idea is that Neal can continue his development, helping to lock down the right side of the OL, a spot that has been vulnerable in his absence.
The return of Bellinger will be significant for quarterback Daniel Jones, who was starting to trust him in the passing game. Before going down, Bellinger had accrued 152 yards and three total touchdowns but made a significant impact as a run blocker.
Rookie pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux has started to hit his stride during the second half of the season, but getting back second-year outside linebacker Ojulari should provide even more firepower off the edge.
Ojulari has barely made an impact this season, playing in just 60 snaps before sustaining a calf injury. Thibodeaux and Ojulari project to be the team’s primary pass rushers in the future, but getting the latter of the two back on the field alongside Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams will finally provide the Giants with a full-strength defense line.
The last starter to find his way back will be Bredeson, who was having a solid season at left guard before a knee injury knocked him out. Bredeson had given up just six pressures over 366 snaps — the Giants have been forced to roll with rookie Josh Ezeudu and a myriad of others to pick up the slack in the meantime.