New York Giants: 2 impact offensive linemen return to practice

nfl: preseason-carolina panthers at new york giants, john michael-schmitz
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants hope to get two impact offensive linemen back against the New York Jets this Sunday afternoon. The Giants have been fending off a poor offensive line situation, with a number of injuries plaguing the team.

Star left tackle Andrew Thomas was knocked out in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys with a hamstring injury, followed up by John Michael-Schmitz leaving early on against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4 with a shoulder issue.

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Fortunately, both players returned to practice on Wednesday afternoon, indicating they may be able to suit up against the Jets. Thomas played just 53 snaps in Week 1 before going down, giving up three pressures and two penalties.

While that certainly wasn’t his best game, Thomas was already dealing with the hamstring injury before they eventually removed him from the blowout loss, shutting him down for the next six weeks.

Getting Thomas back would be a significant boost to the offense, especially for quarterback Daniel Jones, who still hasn’t been cleared to return to practice. Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor will likely start against the Jets, giving Jones an extra week to get back on track.

Thomas signed a five-year, $117.5 million deal this past off-season, expiring in 2029. While Thomas is still in the final year of his rookie contract, the big extension kicks in next year with a $23.67 million salary hit. Hopefully, the injury bug doesn’t strike again, and he can continue to provide the Giants with stellar play at one of the most important positions in the game.

Rookie center John Michael-Schmitz is also hoping to suit up against the Giants’ hometown rival. He played 199 snaps before the injury, giving up six pressures and one sack. His best game came against the Arizona Cardinals, giving up one pressure and recording a 68.4 pass-blocking grade, according to PFF.

The 24-year-old Minnesota product has plenty of potential and should develop into an above-average starter, but experience is his best friend right now, and getting back into the mix should reward the Giants with better pass protection. This would allow veteran Ben Bredeson to slide over to his natural left guard spot, which should improve the line enough to give whoever is playing quarterback a fighting chance.

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