Giants’ starting right tackle goes down with concussion

evan neal, new york giants
Aug 21, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants offensive lineman Evan Neal (73) says a pregame prayer before the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

On Day 8 of their training camp, the New York Giants witnessed a few notable performances on a sunny Friday afternoon. Parris Campbell, a new free agent acquisition, continues to impress with consistent playmaking, adding another layer of intrigue to the training camp narratives. Furthermore, the battle for the slot corner position is starting to intensify, offering a glimpse into the potential defensive formations for the upcoming season.

Cor’Dale Flott, the second-year product from LSU, seems poised to take over the slot corner position full-time. The young cornerback has gained additional muscle mass, strengthening his claim to this pivotal role.

The Giants Need Evan Neal to Continue His Growth

Despite these positive developments, the day wasn’t without its setbacks. Starting right tackle, Evan Neal reportedly sustained a concussion during the practice session. After a lackluster rookie season, this development adds another challenge for the young player.

At just 22 years old and standing 6’7″, Neal had a difficult rookie season where he gave up eight sacks and allowed 52 total pressures. This resulted in him earning seven penalties across his 862 offensive snaps. Although Neal refrained from attributing his subpar performance to an injury, it’s worth noting that he struggled with an MCL issue at a time when the entire roster was battling injuries.

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Improvements and Expectations

To bounce back, Neal devoted his off-season to weight loss and enhancing his flexibility and reaction timing. By altering his stance and refining his base, the young player aims to make significant strides this season.

The Giants’ offensive success hinges heavily on his performance; even the addition of several new offensive weapons can’t entirely compensate for a deficiency at the right tackle position. Thus, the Giants are pinning substantial hopes on Neal’s progress.

With this concussion, Neal will need to undergo the league’s protocols and likely miss several weeks of practice. This could potentially rule him out for a significant part of the preseason. However, the Giants and their fans will be hopeful he can return to take some reps before their regular season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.