New York Giants expected to rest key starters in Week 18

New York Giants, Leonard Williams

The New York Giants have nothing to play in Week 18 after already clinching a playoff berth and locking themselves in as the sixth seed in the NFC. The Giants will play their first postseason game in six years next week, but they still have one last regular season game left on the schedule. The debate all week was whether or not the Giants should compete in this regular season finale or bubble wrap their starters to keep them healthy for the playoffs. According to recent reports, the Giants are expected to rest their key starters in Week 18.

Giants resting starters in Week 18

On Sunday, the Giants will face off against the Eagles on the road in Philadelphia to close out their 2022 regular season. At 9-6-1, New York has already clinched the sixth seed in the 2022 postseason and has no way to improve their seeding. The Giants are looking ahead to the playoffs and resting their starters this week to maintain health.

A couple of crucial players on the Giants’ defense have been playing through injury in recent weeks as the Giants were fighting to clinch their spot in the postseason. Azeez Ojulari (calf) and Leonard Williams (neck) both played through injuries in Week 17 but have already been declared out by head coach Brian Daboll for Week 18 (per Jordan Raanan of ESPN).

Decisions on other starters will be made after Friday’s practice concludes, Daboll said (Matt Citak). Brian Daboll has been keeping his plans under wraps, but reports indicate that he does in fact plan to rest many of the Giants’ key starters. It is unlikely that top players such as Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, and Adoree’ Jackson will see the field in Week 18.

If the Giants do manage to upset the Eagles in Week 18 somehow, they will be playing spoiler in a significant fashion. At 13-3, the Eagles currently possess the first seed in the NFC, but that is subject to change. With a loss to the Giants in Week 18, the Eagles could fall as far down in seeding as the fifth seed.

The New York Giants could be treating this meaningless Week 18 matchup as a free bye week. While most teams are still fighting for playoff seeding, the Giants can rest assured knowing that they will own the sixth seed no matter what happens this Sunday. All eyes will be on next weekend as the New York Giants prepare to embark on another fairy-tale postseason run.

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