The New York Giants may be without Sterling Shepard for their Sunday game against Washington, but they do have one player making a possible return: David Mayo. Mayo hasn’t played at all this season but has been an important return that the team has been waiting on. That’s because Mayo was projected as a starting middle linebacker, and the Giants already cut Mayo’s competitor Ryan Connelly.
However, the Giants’ website has announced that the Giants have both activated Mayo and expect him to play on Sunday. Obviously, this is an injury return that matters for the team. Blake Martinez, a middle linebacker, is one of the biggest additions of the offseason. But the player starting next to Martinez is a bit less certain.
Of the inside linebackers for the Giants, there’s a massive gap in performance between Martinez and the others at the position. Martinez already has 50 tackles, which goes to show his large role through the first five games. On the other hand, Devante Downs has 9 tackles and Tae Crowder has 8.
With that being said, it’s hard to expect more from either player. The Giants selected Crowder with the last pick of the Draft, so his usual performance is already better than usual for most drafted at that spot. Downs, on the other hand, was brought up from the practice squad originally and doesn’t have so much experience playing in an active role.
We don’t know what speed Mayo will be playing at after coming back from injury, but having a more experienced player in a starting role should be a boost for the Giants defense in an important area.