Before New York Giants wide receiver Corey Coleman went down with a torn ACL, the No. 3 pass-catching spot was up for the taking.
A position battle between Corey Coleman and Cody Latimer was expected to be one of the highlights of training camp and preseason. However, that reality came crashing down which has given Latimer an open doorway to claim the final starting receiving spot.
Latimer has done nothing but impress recently, as his chemistry with Eli Manning has proven to be extraordinarily beneficial and trustworthy in the passing game.
The Giants might have to rely on their No. 3 wide receiver early on in the 2019 season. A fractured thumb to Sterling Shepard and a potential four-game ban for Golden Tate might force Cody into the No .1 spot.
While it’s expected that Sterling Shepard will return to full health and participate in week one against the Dallas Cowboys, they will likely utilize him in a lesser fashion to avoid re-injuring the fractured thumb.
“Cody is probably one of our most veteran receivers. I think he shows that out there,” head coach Pat Shurmur told reporters on Sunday. “He knows how to practice. He knows how to compete. He has a unique ability to make a play down the field. I think he does a good job. . . there are times when he can get behind the (corner) and he’s open. But then there are other times when he’s in a contested situation where he can make a play on the ball. That’s hugely valuable when you’re a wideout.”
Latimer is one of the Giants’ most lethal deep threats. His elite speed and playmaking ability give him an advantage over lesser corners, which he will face being the third option behind Shepard and Tate.
Manning isn’t the type of quarterback to take risks downfield frequently, but when he does, Latimer seems to be on the receiving end. In addition, Eli and Cody have been working in the endzone to improve their red-zone efficiency and touchdown percentage. We could see Manning utilize Latimer as a fade option in the corner of the endzone. Similar to what we have seen in the past with Plaxico Burress and most recently, Evan Engram.
The chemistry they continue to build will prove to be extremely significant. The cycling injuries in regards to the wide receiver corps has posed significant challenges, but a healthy Cody Latimer can alleviate some of those stresses.