New York Giants head coach Joe Judge is keeping injury news and updates under wraps ahead of Week 1 against the Denver Broncos. Keeping all information a secret should give them a competitive advantage, forcing Denver to game plan for multiple players while the Giants continue to rehab some of their offensive stars, including Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay.
On Monday, Judge was a bit more honest regarding his injured players, hinting that the majority of them will be ready for the regular season.
“I’d say a number of these guys coming back right now, we’re optimistic about all of them, to be honest with you. We’ll see how they do throughout this week in practice,” Judge told reporters. “Saw a lot of guys make a lot of gains last week. There are a lot of guys that are getting reintroduced to the team that missed some time in training camp.”
If Big Blue has Golladay, Barkley, Kyle Rudolph, and Kadarius Toney available against the Broncos, their scheme should be far different than what we saw against the New England Patriots in the final preseason game. Ultimately, the utilization of pre-snap motion, vertical route concepts, and more creative playcalling should contribute toward a more explosive offense. Coordinator Jason Garrett has admitted that his unit needs to take a step forward in curating chunk plays and being more “explosive.”
However, the playcalling will only take the Giants so far, as the offensive line holds the keys to Daniel Jones being an effective quarterback and throwing the ball downfield. Allowing route concepts to develop, especially vertical ones heavily relies on the quarterback being safe in the pocket and having time to spare.
The Giants released their unofficial depth chart on Tuesday, and surprisingly, veteran Nate Solder was listed ahead of second-year player Matt Peart. Solder, who hasn’t played right tackle since his rookie season back in 2011, is expected to start at the spot against Denver. Ultimately, the Giants must consider Jones’s health and his future, which is why going with a more experienced player who can adapt appropriately makes sense.
Despite Solder being listed ahead of Peart, I do expect the Connecticut product to be rotated in, as the Giants try to force development for both players. It will take a few weeks for them to gain their footing, but in the meantime, protecting Jones needs to be the coaching staff’s top priority.