The New York Giants are gearing up for a challenging contest against the Green Bay Packers this upcoming Monday night. Once again, in Prime Time, the Giants are being forced to perform under the brightest lights, and while their playoff hopes are still slightly alive, they will need to exceed expectations against a Packers team that is surging up the rankings.
The Packers haven’t scored less than 23 points in three consecutive games and just dismantled both the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs. The Giants have been without some of their players recently, making this contest even more difficult.
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The Giants May Be Getting Dexter Lawrence Back
Fortunately, it seems as if star interior defender Dexter Lawrence will have a chance to play after returning to practice on Friday. Lawrence didn’t practice on Wednesday, but he was elevated off the injury report on Thursday when the team had an off day.
Lawrence has developed into one of the league’s most dominant defenders. Over 531 snaps this year, Lawrence has produced 53 pressures, including five sacks and 27 tackles. He’s become a dominant force on the interior and a player that opposing offenses dread. His return would provide significant support to a defense that relies on his services to collapse the pocket and aid the outside linebackers.
While Lawrence has a chance to make a comeback, right tackle Evan Neal may not be so fortunate. Neal is still dealing with an ankle injury and was a non-participant on Friday. That means backup Tyre Phillips will likely get the start, but Neal is missing out on essential playing time for his development. This year, he’s played just 460 snaps, posting 30 pressures allowed, including two sacks and five penalties.
Ultimately, the Giants needed Neal to take a big step forward this year to help support the quarterback position, but his downfall has proved to be detrimental. In the meantime, Phillips has been a decent pass protector, giving up 15 pressures across 321 snaps. He struggles in run blocking, but the 26-year-old certainly provides value as a depth piece in the future. Why the Giants ever let him go was bewildering, but fortunately, they got him back, and he spent a few months learning from the Philadelphia Eagles’ unit, which certainly helped improve his game.