The New York Giants have a potential position battle brewing at left guard. Last season, New York experienced a revolving door at the position. Many players were injured, including the Week One starter, Shane Lemieux. Lemieux suffered a devastating leg injury that required season-ending knee surgery in September. The Giants were left without their starting left guard and had to scramble to find a replacement. Entering the 2022 season, there should be no scramble in case of injury as the Giants have a position battle brewing.
The position battle received a boost today with news that Shane Lemieux has finally returned to practice. Lemieux “practiced and participated in team drills” during today’s OTA practice. This is Shane’s first time practicing since last September. The Giants should be encouraged with the progress that Lemieux has made recovering from his torn patellar tendon. Giants fans should be familiar with that injury as it is the same one that ended Victor Cruz’s 2014 season and significantly derailed the rest of his career.
Shane Lemieux was penned down as the starter entering the 2021 season. Entering the 2022 season, that is not likely the case. The Giants have added some talent to the position. Left guard is shaping to be a position battle that gets settled throughout July and August. Training camp and preseason could determine who starts to the right shoulder of Andrew Thomas.
Who is competing for the Giants’ starting left guard position?
Competing for the position alongside Shane Lemieux are recent additions Max Garcia and Joshua Ezeudu. Max Garcia was signed in free agency. The former Arizona Cardinal started 11 games in the desert last season. He could win the job based on experience and seniority. Alternatively, the Giants could go with the young, inexperienced Joshua Ezeudu. The Giants drafted Ezeudu out of UNC in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Joshua is a big guy with quick feet and the traits to develop into a quality starter at the next level. He could compete to get a crack at the starting position as early as his rookie season.
Shane Lemieux has put his name in the hat as a player once forgotten. Lemieux started 10 games the past two seasons and will be eager to put some more starts under his belt this year. Shane Lemieux’s performance has been inconsistent and often inadequate. But a year off to recover and develop could potentially lead to improve play from the third-year mammoth out of Oregon. The New York Giants might not have a definitive starter at left guard, but at least they have depth. That is far more than they were able to claim entering the 2021 season.