With the New York Giants preparing to lose their top wide receiver in Sterling Shepard for the week two matchup against the Buffalo Bills, they have elected to re-sign preseason hero T.J. Jones to help fill the void.
With Shepard missing time and Golden Tate still three games away from being eligible to compete, the Giants will be thin in the wide receiver corps. Jones finished the preseason with 12 receptions for 146 total yards and two touchdowns, one of which was a Victor Cruz-esque grab in the endzone on an Alex Tanney pass.
He will immediately come in and have familiarity with the offensive playbook, as well as chemistry with quarterback, Eli Manning. Despite only being on the team for several weeks, his knowledge of the playbook and skillset will be put to use, especially in week two against the Bills.
What are the New York Giants getting with T.J. Jones?
In five season with the Detroit Lions, Jones caught 64 balls for 814 yards and four scores. He’s a seasoned veteran that was always fighting for reps against more talented pass-catchers. I imagine the Giants will utilize him all over the field if he can manage to secure ample minutes, but with the lack of talent at the position, he will be forced into a medium-volume role.
Against the Bills, Big Blue will likely trot out Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler, Russell Shepard, and T.J. Jones in that order. Based on field position and scheme, head coach Pat Shurmur will likely rotate the receivers, using Fowler in the red-zone. Shepard is a deep-ball threat, while Jones is a solid post-route receiver. He can also contest balls along the boundary.
The biggest issue with losing Shepard is that they will have to compensate for the loss of their primary slot target. Jones could play out of the slot and act as a crossing route option/security blanket for Manning.
Nonetheless, Jones showed he is a capable receiver this preseason, and he will earn his opportunity for the Giants during the regular season in week two.