As the New York Giants gear up for their Week 1 Sunday night showdown against the Dallas Cowboys, there’s been significant concern about tight end Darren Waller’s availability. Waller was listed as a limited participant in Friday’s practice due to hamstring tightness, a condition he has battled in the past. However, the Giants are expected to have Waller in action against the Cowboys, a development that significantly bolsters the team’s offensive capabilities.
Reading the Signs: Waller Likely to Play
A critical indicator regarding Waller’s game status was whether the Giants would promote another tight end to fill in. Instead, the team chose to elevate running back Taiwan Jones to assist on special teams, signaling that Waller’s health is on an upward trajectory.
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The Veteran Presence of Taiwan Jones
A Seasoned Special Teamer
Taiwan Jones is no rookie when it comes to the NFL. The 35-year-old veteran was a fourth-round pick by the Oakland Raiders in 2011. Last season, he showcased his special teams versatility with the Buffalo Bills, participating in 305 total snaps. The breakdown of these snaps includes 92 in kick coverage, 66 on kick returns, 45 in punt coverage, 57 on punt returns, and 45 on field goals and extra points.
Young Blood Meets Experienced Hands
While Jones brings a wealth of experience to the Giants’ special teams, it’s likely that the team will also rely on younger talent to support him in this role. His primary function will be on special teams, but the infusion of youth will help ensure that this unit performs at its best.
In sum, with Waller likely to suit up and Taiwan Jones added for special teams depth, the Giants are solidifying their lineup in preparation for their season opener against the Cowboys.