New York Giants: Defense Gets A Boost With Josh Mauro Return

The New York Giants have a banged up defense. Defensive end Olivier Vernon is out with a high ankle sprain currently, and cornerback Eli Apple has been out since the second game of the season with a groin injury. Before the season even started, Josh Mauro was out at defensive end because of a four game suspension for performance enhancing drugs. Those aren’t the only injuries.

The list is pretty long for this point in the season, but one of these players will make a comeback soon in the week five game against the Panthers. That player is Josh Mauro, who has yet to play a snap for the Giants after following defensive coordinator James Bettcher from the Arizona Cardinals, where he played for the first years of his career after being released from the Steelers, the team he originally signed for as an undrafted free agent.

Let’s take a look at what Mauro has done up until this point, when he’ll likely make his debut with the Giants. He only played five games as a rookie, but despite his undrafted status, he found success quickly and played in 14 games during 2015, registering 15 tackles during that span.

The next year, he would play in one more game than he did in 2015 and started in 13 of them, with 24 tackles. Those numbers made him one of the top defensive line players on the entire team, representing a surprising growth for a player that had been released from the Steelers only a couple of years prior.

Mauro had 13 games and 15 tackles in 2017 and signed a two-year contract that same year, but was released anyway and signed with the Giants this March. He was the favorite to start at the left defensive end spot, but unfortunately, his suspension kept him out for the first games of the season and rookie B.J. Hill started in his place.

There will likely be a competition at the position, but with the defensive line not performing as well as it should have against New Orelans, there will likely be changes. One of those changes will probably be Mauro reaching the starting lineup and giving Giants fans a taste of what their new signing can do. Hopefully, it will be enough to help out a line that still lacks the help of Olivier Vernon, five weeks into the season.