New York Giants to get pass-rushing boost ahead of Week 13 Commanders matchup

new york giants, azeez ojulari
Aug 21, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants linebacker Azeez Ojulari (51) warms up prior to the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants‘ pass rush has been without its main star from the 2021 season for the majority of the year. Azeez Ojulari has been absent from the lineup since Week 3, nursing a calf injury. As the Giants head into a crucial Week 13 matchup, Ojulari has been activated from injured reserve and appears ready to make his return and to make an impact on the Giants’ defense.

Azeez Ojulari activated to New York Giants’ rosters

In the New York Giants’ most recent matchup, edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux appeared to hit his stride. The rookie posted 9 pressures, 4 quarterback hurries, 5 quarterback hits, and an absurd 33.3% pass rush win rate against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving (via NFL Rookie Watch). Kayvon has begun to break out for Big Blue as a rookie, but the Giants are still in need of reinforcements in the pass-rushing department.

Enter second-year edge rusher Azeez Ojulari. The Giants have been without Azeez for the majority of this season. Ojulari has played in only 2 games this season, totaling 1 sack and 3 combined tackles in the pair of contests in which he appeared. Ojulari’s last appearance was in Week 4 against the Chicago Bears, where he recorded his first sack of the season. In his rookie 2021 season, though, Azeez Ojulari was a top performer for Big Blue, totaling 8 sacks and 49 combined tackles.

Adding Ojulari to the lineup will create more one-on-one pass-rushing opportunities for Kayvon Thibodeaux. Each player will benefit from playing alongside the other. Thibodeaux and Ojulari are both forces of their own that will attract attention from opposing offenses, opening up opportunities for the other party.

The New York Giants have played an aggressive style of defense this season. However, their top pas-rusher from the 2021 season has been absent for the majority of the year. If Ojulari can return to the lineup and stay healthy, the Giant should enjoy a huge boost in pass-rushing productivity from the second-year player out of Georgia.