The Giants might have to feature a new left tackle in Week 2

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham (55) and New York Giants guard Joshua Ezeudu (75) in action during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are bracing themselves for the bleak possibility that their star left tackle, Andrew Thomas, could miss the crucial Week 2 game against the Arizona Cardinals. This looms especially large considering the Cardinals just racked up six sacks against the Washington Commanders—a stat somewhat exaggerated due to quarterback Sam Howell’s questionable decisions.

Andrew Thomas: The Giants Dealing With a Problem

Fresh off a resounding defeat by the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1, the Giants’ situation worsened when Thomas exited the game with a hamstring injury. With Thomas sidelined and currently nursing his injury, his absence leaves a gaping hole in the line-up.

Practice Plans and Future Implications

The Giants have already ruled out Thomas from practicing this week, almost guaranteeing him a “questionable” designation for the upcoming game. However, the stakes are higher than just this weekend; Week 3 pits the Giants against the San Francisco 49ers—a team boasting one of the most potent pass rushes in the league. Therefore, Thomas’s availability is critical for the Giants’ chances to remain competitive.

Next Man Up: Josh Ezeudu Steps In

Should Thomas be unable to play, the Giants will likely turn to second-year lineman Josh Ezeudu as the next man up. Ezeudu, a former UNC standout, clocked 290 snaps last season, allowing 15 pressures and three sacks, along with incurring three penalties. Although Ezeudu primarily played at left guard, filling Thomas’s shoes at tackle becomes imperative for the team.

Ezeudu’s Short, Flawless Stint at Tackle

After Thomas left the Dallas game in the second half, Ezeudu was thrust into action and delivered 14 spotless snaps. While this sample size is small, it’s an encouraging sign. The Giants’ other alternative is Matt Peart, who is recovering from a hyperextended elbow but should be available for the Arizona game. Deciding between the healthier Ezeudu and Peart should be straightforward for head coach Brian Daboll despite this being Ezeudu’s first time in a full-time left tackle role.

A Vulnerable Line-Up Facing Arizona’s Defense

The Cardinals will almost certainly look to capitalize on this potential weakness, focusing not just on Ezeudu but also on Evan Neal at right tackle. Daniel Jones might find himself under relentless pressure once more. However, facing a Cardinals team that ranks among the least effective in the NFL, the Giants will need to concoct a far more efficient game plan to secure a win.

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