The New York Giants are prepping for their Week one opponent in the Dallas Cowboys, but they’ve also been prepping to withstand the number of hurdles placed in their way already. Among them, the quickly depleted receiving corps that has seen Golden Tate suspended for the first four games, a broken thumb suffered by Sterling Shepard, and Corey Coleman tearing his ACL.
As a result, the path to carving out a significant role in the Giants’ offense and a potential All-Pro type of season has never been more apparent for third-year tight end Evan Engram. Since being drafted in the first round back in 2017, Engram has shown flashes of being a threat in the passing game.
But through two seasons it hasn’t been defensive backs or linebackers keeping him from reaching his peak, it has been his own body and various injuries. Engram suffered a concussion early in his rookie season and later dealt with a rib injury that knocked him out of the season finale. Last season, a concussion, MCL sprain, and hamstring injury limited him to just 11 games.
And yet through all the injuries, Evan Engram still managed to rack up production on the field. Engram has tallied 109 receptions for 1299 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s averaged a strong 11.9 yards per reception throughout his young career (ProFootballReference).
All this statistical production, and yet we still have not seen him make it through a full 16-game season. New York is banking on that to occur this season and if that goal is achieved, Engram could be in for an All-Pro type of year.
With the receiving corps being depleted to start the season, Engram could very well slide into the number two option on offense. Saquon Barkley is the undisputed top dog, but defenses will be more than willing to stack the box in response. To keep them at bay, they need to respect the passing game.
And that is where Evan Engram’s opportunity lies if his body can hold up long enough to take advantage. So far through the offseason, early word is that he’s doing his part off the field to see this season through in its entirety. As he’s reiterated, “…I’m just following up on the little things and trying to keep up on my body and I’ll make sure I’m doing everything I can, on my part, to stay on the field.” (The Athletic)
Engram is doing his part, and if his body obliges he could be in for the best statistical season of his young career. The Giants’ season might not hinge on it, but New York will surely welcome it.