The New York Giants were one of the unlucky teams in 2019 regarding players missing time due to injury. It seems as if that has been the reality for a Big Blue the past few seasons.
Dealing with injury is part of running an NFL team, and former head coach Pat Shurmur simply didn’t have enough depth talent to supplement the loss of his starters.
The Giants have made it a priority to allocate resources toward historically healthy players this off-season, which will hopefully turn the tides in their unfortunate luck. However, the team also faced suspensions last season, specifically with Golden Tate.
Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones was stripped of most of his playmakers throughout the campaign. He didn’t play a single contest with all of his weapons readily available to utilize. Nonetheless, the Duke product threw 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions to start his NFL career, a fantastic number when you break down how many games his playmakers were out for.
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Let’s take a look at how many games the New York Giants played without some of their star offensive weapons:
Daniel Jones: 4
Evan Engram: 8
Sterling Shepard: 6
Golden Tate: 5
Darius Slayton: 2 (started only 9)
Saquon Barkley: 3
Aside from Jones, who missed two games due to injury and another two when Eli Manning started the season, top tight end Evan Engram suffered a foot sprain midway through the campaign, missing the final eight games of the year.
Shepard, who is arguably the Giants’ top receiver, missed six games with concussion symptoms. He suffered two concussions, one against Dallas Cowboys to start the year and another against the Minnesota Vikings. Symptoms lingered for several weeks, limiting Shepard’s appearances.
Tate, who was suspended for the first five games of the season due to a PED suspension, has been healthy throughout his career. The suspension stemmed from a substance he was taking to improve his chances of having a child, which was evidently successful. However, a drug used in the concoction was on the list of illegal substances listed by the NFL.
Most don’t remember, but Darius Slayton missed the first two games of the season with a sore hamstring. He returned and played the remaining 14 games of the year, starting in nine.
Barkley, who heroically only missed three games due to a high ankle sprain, was limited for most of 2019. He started to return to his normal self later on in the season, but he was visibly affected by the injury.
Overall, including Jones, the Giants’ offensive playmakers missed 28 total games, 26 due to injury or suspension. That is an astronomical number that needs to be decreased if the Giants wish to compete moving forward.