The New York Giants might have a conditioning problem.
Every team has bad luck with injuries from time to time but the Giants have found out this season that for them, players dopping like flies is more the expectation than everyone coming out of this week healthy – in fact, the Giants will go into their game against the Packers missing Jabrill Peppers, Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, and Golden Tate. Zak DeOssie is expected to be placed on the injured reserve list to finish the season.
They aren’t the only players to miss time – Sterling Shepard struggled with an early concussion in the opening weeks of the season and was out for an extended time following that. Saquon Barkley had a high ankle sprain earlier that might still hold him back to an extent, based on the drop in his statistical production following getting hurt. Nate Solder and Mike Remmers were held in high regard on the offensive line going into the season but have struggled with injuries among other problems this year,
At what point is it just luck and not a trend that has to do with coaching? Most teams won’t pick up as many injuries as the Giants have in one season, especially not to their key players, but for the most part it’s been shrugged off as just being part of the team’s bad luck this year.
But bad luck isn’t the only thing that causes injuries and one has to wonder just how good the strength and conditioning coaches at the Giants are – the main coaching staff, such as the head coach and top coordinators, have received plenty of scrutiny. Strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman and the rest of that department, however, haven’t been given the same treatment.
Strength coaches aren’t just supposed to make their players stronger – but also better conditioned and able to play with endurance and without getting hurt. It’s also the job of said coaches to not push their players hard enough in training that they end up being injured in actual games. That’s something that extends to the staff in general, but still applies heavily to trainers and strength coaches.
It’s impossible to say just how hard the Giants have their players work out in this regard and whether or not it’s contributed to the injury problem, not without inside information, but it is one explanation that would fit with what we’ve seen so far. Players going all out in practice lessens their ability to recover from the games they’ve played on the field, presenting an inherit risk.
But with the season wrapping up and the offseason starting relatively soon, the Giants should take a good look into their conditioning and see just how that area has been performing. At least, if the Giants want to see less players ultimately go down next season compared to this year where the injury report seems to constantly be full of important players.