New York Giants: Daniel Jones out, Sterling Shepard questionable going into Cowboys game

sterling shepard, new york giants

When the New York Giants take on the Cowboys for the second time this year, they’ll have to dig deep and win with less talent than usual. That’s because some important players will be out for this game, including Daniel Jones and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson.

The player that is the most important in all of this, of course, is Jones. Some reports have indicated that he’ll be shut down for the season, but we aren’t seeing that yet. Still, he hasn’t been cleared to return from his neck injury, and it looks at this point like more than a regular neck strain.

Mike Glennon is once again the starter for the Giants, who lack a fitting alternative.

Jones isn’t the only player out, though. The Giants will have cornerbacks Adoree’ Jackson and Aaron Robinson missing, after they were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier in the week. Kadarius Toney was also placed on the list, giving the Giants one less weapon in the receiving game.

For some players, the verdict isn’t out yet but things aren’t looking great. Ben Bredeson, Austin Johnson, Leonard Williams, and Sterling Shepard were marked as questionable and participated in limited practice on Friday. Shepard made his return from an absence since week 8 when he played against the Chargers, but is now dealing with a calf injury following that game.

Saquon Barkley was also limited in practice, but it looks more likely than not that he’ll play. Barkley played in the past 4 games despite being listed with an injury, and hasn’t been placed on the ‘questionable’ section of the injury report.

All in all, it’s clear the Giants will need a well thought out game plan to remain competitive in this one. With the current injuries, talent alone isn’t enough.

New York Giants: Rookie CB Aaron Robinson seeing increased playing time

aaron robinson, new york giants

The New York Giants‘ defense is the strength of their roster. The Giants have a handful of talented young players on the defensive side of the ball to build around. The Giants’ veterans keep the defense sturdy, but it is the youth that keeps the defense exciting. Rookie cornerback Aaron Robinson is an exciting young talent featured in the Giants’ secondary.

Aaron Robinson has seen increased playing time in recent weeks. The rookie out of UCF spent a large portion of the season on the PUP list, dealing with a core injury suffered before the regular season began. Robinson was finally healthy and activated to the 53-man roster in Week 8.

ARob seldom saw the field in his first three appearances. However, in the past two weeks, Robinson has seen the field more and more and even played 100% of the team’s defensive snaps against the Miami Dolphins this past Sunday. Starting cornerback Adoree’ Jackson was OUT in Week 13, leading to Robinson’s increased usage versus Miami. But once again this week, Jackson will be out, putting Aaron Robinson in line for another lengthy outing versus the Chargers this weekend.

Aaron Robinson playing 100% of defensive snaps

Aaron Robinson played 100% of the Giants’ defensive snaps in Week 13 versus the Miami Dolphins. The Giants were short at corner with Adoree’ Jackson out, so Robinson took over as the starter. Robinson was targeted 8 times on Sunday, allowing 6 receptions for 65 yards. In Week 12 against the Eagles, Aaron Robinson allowed only 1 reception for 19 yards on 5 targets.

On the year, Aaron Robinson has seen the field for 152 defensive snaps. In that playing time, Robinson has been targeted in coverage 16 times, allowing 9 receptions for 109 yards and 0 touchdowns while also earning 3 passes defended and 14 combined tackles.

Looking ahead to this Sunday’s Week 14 matchup, Robinson has a great challenge at hand. The Los Angeles Chargers possess one of the NFL’s most talented wide receiver corps. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are both premiere receiving options for the strong-arm second-year quarterback Justin Herbert. Keenan Allen has totaled 929 receiving yards this season and Mike Williams has totaled 854 receiving yards this season. The Chargers like to air it out, and they have the playmakers necessary to do so. This will be an ultimate test for Aaron Robinson as he tries to prove his worth in the final stretch of the New York Giants’ season.

New York Giants: James Bradberry unconcerned by who plays around him

New York Giants, James Bradberry, logan ryan

The New York Giants moved to improve their secondary this offseason, but injury has thrown a wrench into what the team is building up. Adoree’ Jackson was added to play number two to James Bradberry at corner, but his status is questionable after an ankle sprain and it remains to be seen whether Jackson will be back for week one of the regular season.

It also looks like Jackson will almost certainly sit against the Patriots, leaving open the question of who will get playing time in his place as the Giants bring out more of their starters for the final preseason game.

However, number one cornerback Bradberry isn’t concerned by that development. According to him, the Giants have enough talent at the position that it’s not worth worrying about.

Bradberry not worried about missing Jackson

“I’m confident in whoever they put out there. I was confident last year in whoever they put out there, so I’m going to be confident this year,” Bradberry said on Friday when asked about maybe starting the season without Jackson. “My job is to play well, but also help the guy that I’m playing beside whether he’s a young guy or a veteran. I’m going to try to help whoever they put out there.”

Isaac Yiadom, the cornerback that spent much of last season playing number two, is now with the Green Bay Packers. Darnay Holmes, who is entering his second season, is a candidate to take Jackson’s place. Also in the running is Josh Jackson, who the Giants received in the trade that sent Yiadom to Green Bay.

Bradberry was also asked about what may happen if the opposing quarterback in week 1 targets the opposite side of the field from him. That scenario is another one that didn’t seem to bother Bradberry much.

I watch a lot of film, so whatever I see on film, I’m going to try to tell the other guy that’s playing opposite me so they can make plays as well. We’re not really worried about what he’s going to see. We’re worried about what we’re going to do on the defense, honestly.”

The Giants should get Jackson back relatively soon. It looks like they dodged a bullet on his injury, as it doesn’t appear to be a long term one. Despite this, it still remains a concern that the Giants have a number of current injuries as they approach week 1. And not all of these players are guaranteed to make it back in time for the regular season.

Headed into the last preseason game, it’s still unclear just what the lineup will look like when the Giants take the field against Denver next month.

New York Giants injury updates: Adoree Jackson, Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney

new york giants, adoree jackson

The New York Giants started practice on Wednesday afternoon on a positive note, announcing the return of tight end Kyle Rudolph from the PUP list. Rudolph has spent the summer rehabilitating from a foot injury that was discovered before he signed with the Giants this off-season on a two-year contract.

However, not all injury news from Wednesday’s joint practice with the New England Patriots was positive. Starting quarterback and new free-agent signing, Adoree Jackson suffered a foot injury, and the severity is currently unknown.

New York Giants injury updates:

Adoree Jackson:

The roller coaster of news following Jackson’s injury is quite laughable.

Ranging from Jackson being carted off the field after slipping in coverage to he might be able to practice tomorrow is quite polarizing. Ian Rapoport went as far as to say the swelling was “significant,” but the Giants are still running tests to diagnose exactly what the cornerback is facing in the short term.

Best case scenario, Jackson walks away dodging a bullet, as the Giants recently traded Isaac Yiadom to the Green Bay Packers in hopes the secondary would remain healthy. They lost Quincy Wilson during the last preseason game and are still unsure about rookie Rodarius Williams. Third-round pick Aaron Robinson continues to spend time on the PUP list with a core muscle injury.

Overall, the Giants are holding their breath that the injury doesn’t reveal anything significant. Swelling could indicate something serious, but it is also a natural reaction from the body and normally subsides with a bit of ice and Advil. Until the swelling goes down, the team won’t truly know how long he will be out.

Kenny Golladay:

The Giants’ top wideout has spent the last few weeks dealing with a hamstring injury, an issue he’s faced before. Golladay has only played five games since his Pro Bowl appearance in 2019, but he is expected to make a full recovery and to be available for the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Denver Broncos.

Golladay spent time on the side with trainers, catching passes from a standstill. He has worked with Daniel Jones, playing a game of simple catch, but that isn’t enough to beat corners on timing routes and fully understand the playbook come the start of the regular season. Hopefully, next week will offer Golladay an opportunity to get the gears turning once again.

Kadarius Toney:

Giants’ rookie receiver Kadarius Toney has experienced somewhat of an up-and-down off-season.

After equipment issues first plagued his minicamp, Toney, unfortunately, contracted COVID-19, which has kept him on edge ever since. Toney was also working alongside trainers with Golladay during Wednesday’s practice. There’s no guarantee he will be available against Denver, but at the very least, he could get a few reps throughout the game on designed plays to get his feet wet. Missing the entire preseason isn’t ideal, but the Giants are still confident he will make an impact on the 2021 campaign.

New York Giants cornerback duo listed with top 10 in the league

new york giants, adoree jackson

The secondary hasn’t been the most stable spot for the New York Giants over the past few years, as the team has seen multiple first round draft picks like Eli Apple and DeAndre Baker leave for varying reasons without becoming long term players.

However, it looks like the Giants have finally reached a good spot at the position. That didn’t come through drafting, but instead through their free agent acquisitions.

The Giants watched James Bradberry raise his performance level to become one of the best corners in the league after joining them last season, and they added to his presence in 2021 by signing Adoree’ Jackson as the main number two option.

This signing is regarded as the biggest improvement to the team’s defense from 2021’s free agency, and the combination has already earned attention from the national media.

In a list of the top 10 cornerback duos in the league, NFL.com’s Cynthia Frelund listed Bradberry and Jackson at number 10.

Since 2018, James Bradberry has forced a whopping 42 incompletions — the top figure in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. Last season, he earned an overall PFF grade of 79.8, which tied for seventh among corners with Jalen Ramsey. Computer vision shows that on snaps where the front was unable to generate pressure, Bradberry still allowed just a 59.6 percent completion percentage, the second-lowest mark amongst corners in 2020. Overall passing data logically shows that an increase in pressure correlates with a decrease in completion percentage, but it also shows that effective coverage from defensive backs ahead of the pass can correlate with increased pressure. Bradberry’s production, combined with the addition of Adoree’ Jackson, should help the Giants more effectively blanket pass catchers before the snap. Between that and the additions made up front, New York should increase its pressure rate in 2021, which will in turn drive even more efficiency from the corners.

The rating might seem low but it’s worth noting that Jackson hasn’t played a single game for the Giants yet. Bradberry improved after getting into Patrick Graham’s defense, and the same may happen with Jackson.

The Giants are confident enough in that outcome, after all, that they gave him a three year contract for a hefty $39m. The Giants secondary could easily rise further in the overall ranks of the league if Jackson sees a similar improvement to Bradberry.

It’s easy to imagine this will be a good environment for Jackson, as he’ll be playing and practicing with former Titans secondary teammates Logan Ryan and Joshua Kalu.

At the very least, the combination of Bradberry and Jackson looks better than the combo of Bradberry and Baker, and some around the league are starting to take note of that improvement this offseason.

New York Giants: CB Adoree’ Jackson placing an emphasis on learning this season

new york giants, adoree jackson

The New York Giants had a phenomenal defense in 2020. But the unit was not perfect. As good as the Giants’ secondary was, led by cornerback James Bradberry, there was room for improvement. Opposite of Bradberry, the Giants had a revolving door at CB2. In the 2021 offseason, New York seemingly solved this problem when they signed cornerback Adoree’ Jackson to a three-year, $39M contract.

James Bradberry established himself as a truly elite outside cornerback last season. But with two starting outside cornerbacks on a depth chart, the Giants lacked a second quality starter at the position. Adoree’ Jackson is not only quality, but he is high-quality as a former first-round pick who possesses the speed to shut down some of the NFL’s fastest wide receivers. The Giants are excited to have Jackson join Bradberry and form a potentially elite cornerback duo.

Adoree’ Jackson placing an emphasis on learning

Adoree’ Jackson is no rookie. He has been in the leagues for a few seasons now. 2021 will be Jackson’s fifth season in the NFL after he played the first four years of his career with the Tennessee Titans. In 2017, the Titans drafted Adoree’ in the first round of that year’s draft. He entered the league with high expectations and was viewed as an essential part of the Titans’ long-term plans on defense. However, the team cut him this offseason in an effort to create salary-cap space. The Giants capitalized on the situation and solidified their CB2 position by signing Adoree’ Jackson.

Despite being a seasoned (but still young) veteran in the league at this point in his career, Adoree’ Jackson is playing with the mindset of a rookie. Adoree’ has no chip on his shoulder as he enters his first season with the Giants. Instead, Jackson is placing an emphasis on learning and soaking up as much information as he can to improve his game:

No. What’s crazy is when I first came here, I treated myself like a rookie, like the new guy. That was my mindset every day, just trying to learn from everybody no matter who you are in the room because at the end of the day, if you’re doing something some way and I’m like, ‘How did you do it like that?’ and implement it to my game. So, for me I’m just trying to enjoy it and soak up all the information that I can because you’re never too old to learn and you’re never too young to learn, as well. So, I think that’s just been my mindset, just to think that I’m not anybody and trying to improve on my game. – Adoree’ Jackson when asked if he has a chip on his shoulder entering his first season with the Giants

While Adoree’s career in Tennessee ended with injuries and inconsistency, it began with impressive and reliable outside cornerback play. Since 2018, Adoree Jackson has the fourth-highest coverage grade when lined up outside according to Pro Football Focus with a grade of 85.6. This grade has Jackson on a list with stars like Jaire Alexander, Richard Sherman, and Stephon Gilmore. The New York Giants defense could reach a new height guided by the duo of James Bradberry and Adoree’ Jackson in 2021.

New York Giants: Adoree’ Jackson wouldn’t turn down trick plays at RB

new york giants, adoree jackson

The New York Giants made a solid addition to their secondary when they picked up Adoree’ Jackson in free agency, but they might have gotten a bit more than that with the player.

The Titans have sparingly used Jackson at positions other than cornerback and in an interview with the New York Post, Jackson says he wouldn’t turn down the chance to try that out again if Giants coach Joe Judge asked it of him.

“I’m like, “Yeah yeah, I’ll go play it, don’t worry about it!” I’m not gonna turn it down. Did it when I was at Tennessee, I played running back for a couple of plays, which is cool, that was fun to do that,” Jackson told the Post’s Steve Serby.

From the looks of things, the Giants are getting their hands on a player that enjoys a chance to get physical – whether in pass coverage or not.

“I just like being on the field with my guys. I remember one time at Tennessee, they had me play the blocker for the gunner one play, and I’m over there trying to knock somebody’s chin loose, we’re trying to get in the end zone. Whatever it is they ask, I’m gonna go out there and do.”

These kind of trick plays probably aren’t something that’s going to come up often, but it’s nice to have some options in that department. The Giants, after all, were heavily criticized last season for having a stale offense that failed to shake things up and keep the opponent guessing regularly.

Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett likely has his job on the line this season. Could that push him to come up with some new plays that might even see the Giants shuffle some players around from their usual positions? We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s far from out of the question.

The New York Giants’ secondary has a challenging 2021 season on the horizon

The New York Giants’ 2021 schedule features a list of challenges for the team’s secondary. The Giants are set to face off against some of the best offensive weapons in the NFL this season. Wide receiver talent is plentiful in the modern NFL, a revelation the Giants will have this season.

Top wide receivers that the Giants will be facing in 2021:

(* indicates a player selected to a Pro Bowl, + indicates a player selected to an All-Pro team)

  • Jerry Jeudy
  • Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel (2x)
  • Calvin Ridley+, Kyle Pitts
  • Michael Thomas+ (maybe)
  • Amari Cooper*, CeeDee Lamb (2x)
  • Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp
  • Robby Anderson, DJ Moore
  • Tyreek Hill+, Travis Kelce+
  • Darren Waller+
  • Mike Evans*, Chris Godwin*, Rob Gronkowski+
  • DeVonta Smith (2x)
  • Will Fuller V
  • Keenan Allen*
  • Allen Robinson*

The New York Giants’ elite secondary

Thankfully, the New York Giants do seem to have the talent necessary to defend against these Pro Bowl and All-Pro receivers and tight ends. The Giants have invested a great number of assets into their secondary over the past few years. These investments have paid off as the Giants now possess one of the league’s best secondaries. New York’s 22 passing touchdowns allowed were tied for the fifth-fewest in the NFL.

James Bradberry

The Giants’ secondary is led by star cornerback James Bradberry IV. In 2020, Bradberry was one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, earning his first career Pro Bowl selection while being snubbed from the All-Pro teams. He set a new career-high with 18 passes defended, tied for the second-most in the NFL and only two behind Miami’s Xavien Howard for the league lead (Giants.com).

Logan Ryan

James Bradberry was one of two big free agent signings that the Giants made in their secondary last offseason. New York also signed safety Logan Ryan who had a stellar season during his first year with the Giants. Ryan totaled 93 combined tackles, forced 3 fumbles, and hauled in 1 interception.

Jabrill Peppers

Alongside Logan Ryan is another stud safety on the Giants’ defense: Jabrill Peppers. Jabrill had a career year in 2020, setting new career-highs in combined tackles (91), sacks (2.5), tackles for loss (8), and passes defended (11). Peppers is a phenomenal strong safety that impacts the run game and has the coverage skills to lock down tight ends and running backs.

Adoree’ Jackson

If there was one weakness in the Giants’ secondary last season, though, it was at the outside cornerback spot opposite of James Bradberry. The Giants had a revolving door at CB2. They made an effort to fill this hole in the 2021 offseason, signing former Tennessee Titans cornerback Adoree’ Jackson. This signing makes for a significant upgrade. Since 2018, Adoree Jackson has the fourth-highest coverage grade when lined up outside according to Pro Football Focus with a grade of 85.6.

Xavier McKinney

The Giants like to run a lot of three-safety packages on defense. This means that second-year safety Xavier McKinney could see starting-level snaps in 2021. According to Pro Football Focus, Xavier McKinney’s 70 overall grade was on track to be the highest-graded rookie safety of the season in his 212 snaps after coming back from injury, but he did not meet the minimum snap requirement.

Depth

Behind all of these starters, the Giants have plenty of depth in the secondary. Julian Love has proven to be a solid utility player in the secondary. Darnay Holmes and Aaron Robinson will compete at slot cornerback. Players like Isaac Yiadom and Rodarius Williams also provide the team with solid depth. The New York Giants secondary has a challenging 2021 season on the horizon, but it possesses the talent necessary to get the job done.

The New York Giants have the secondary to shut down NFC East’s loaded groups of WRs

New York Giants, James Bradberry, logan ryan

The New York Giants defense was a top-ten unit in the NFL last season. New York’s prominent defense was led by cornerback James Bradberry, defensive linemen Leonard Williams, linebacker Blake Martinez, among other formidable defenders. The real strength of the Giants’ defensive unit, though, was its secondary.

James Bradberry, Logan Ryan, Jabrill Peppers, Julian Love, and a few other talented defensive backs were featured on the Giants’ suffocating 2020 defense. In 2021, though, the team has added even more talent in its secondary, taking the group to the next level. These additions were necessary as the NFC East loaded up on offensive weaponry this offseason.

The Dallas Cowboys have one of the best wide receiver groups in the NFL, featuring Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup. Terry McLaurin of the Washington Football Team was already establishing himself as one of the game’s best receivers. Then the team went out and paired him with Curtis Samuel, creating a dangerous one-two punch. The Philadelphia Eagles also upgraded at the wide receiver position, selecting 2020’s Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

The NFC East stockpiled talented wide receivers this offseason (the Giants included). Thankfully, the Giants have the talent in their secondary necessary to shut down these loaded groups of wide receivers.

How the New York Giants will shut down the NFC East’s WRs

James Bradberry on the primary receivers

James Bradberry is a true shutdown cornerback. In 2020, he was tasked with taking out opposing teams’ primary wide receivers every week. When matched up with Cowboys’ standout receiver Amari Cooper, Bradberry proved to be a tough corner to beat. In his two matchups against the New York Giants last season, Amari Cooper totaled 41 and 23 receiving yards, two of his lowest totals on the season, with 0 touchdowns.

The Philadelphia Eagles’ leading receiver in 2020, Travis Fulgham, had a decent outing against New York in Week 7, totaling 73 yards, before being shut down in Week 10 with a total of 8 yards. Fulgham scored 0 touchdowns in both outings.

The NFC East wide receiver that gave New York the most trouble in 2020 was Terry McLaurin. Terry totaled receiving performances of 74 and 115 yards against the Giants along with 1 touchdown. Part of this could have been the fact that McLaurin lined up in the slot rather frequently, moving him away from James Bradberry.

Adoree’ Jackson on the secondary receivers

CeeDee Lamb of the Dallas Cowboys also enjoyed one of his best performances of the season against the Giants. New York managed to hold him to only 43 yards in Week 17, but he did erupt for 124 yards in Week 5 (a season-high). The Giants were comfortable with the elite James Bradberry continuing as their primary cornerback in 2021. But the team recognized a need to upgrade their second cornerback position.

To do this, the Giants went ahead and signed Adoree’ Jackson in free agency. Adoree’ Jackson will pair alongside James Bradberry as the team’s second outside cornerback, though the talent drop-off might not be as steep as some expect. Since 2018, Adoree Jackson has the fourth-highest coverage grade when lined up outside according to Pro Football Focus with a grade of 85.6.

Teams like Dallas and Washington have stellar one-two punches at the receiver position. The Giants now also have a formidable first and second line of defense at cornerback to combat these receivers.

Who will take on the slot receivers?

CeeDee Lamb was a good example of a team’s second receiver gashing the Giants’ defense due to their lack of a competent second cornerback. However, Lamb played primarily out of the slot in his rookie season. Adoree’ Jackson will be able to match up well with the likes of Curtis Samuel on the outside in Washington. But Jackson might not face off against Lamb that often.

Instead, Darnay Holmes, entering his second season, will continue as the team’s primary slot cornerback. Now, in addition to Holmes, the Giants have added another talented nickel corner in Aaron Robinson. The Giants drafted Robinson in the third round of this year’s draft. Both Holmes and Robinson are young, talented members of this secondary with the physicality to compete with any of the slot receivers in this division.

While the NFC East saw a major influx of talent at the wide receiver position, the New York Giants saw an influx of talent in their secondary. The Giants have the talent necessary to counteract the division’s receivers in 2021.

The New York Giants might have one of the NFL’s most elite cornerback duos in 2021

new york giants, adoree jackson

The New York Giants had one of the best defenses in the NFL in 2020. The Giants’ defense ranked ninth in the NFL in points allowed and twelfth in yards allowed. What looked like arguably the team’s biggest weakness heading into the season became its biggest strength by year’s end. The Giants’ secondary saw some standout performances that made it one of the best units in the league last season.

No defensive back stood out more than cornerback James Bradberry in his first season with the New York Giants. Last offseason, Bradberry signed a three-year $43.4M contract with the Giants. The Giants made Bradberry one of the league’s highest-paid cornerbacks and many, at the time, felt like that was an overpay. But now, almost unanimously, fans agree that Bradberry lived up to the contract in his first year and even exceeded expectations.

James Bradberry was a true shutdown cornerback last season, but opposite of him, the Giants struggled to get consistency out of its secondary cornerback position. New York’s other boundary cornerback spot became a revolving door, seeing players like Corey Ballentine, Ryan Lewis, Isaac Yiadom, and Julian Love start games in that position. The Giants seemingly fixed this problem in the 2021 offseason, though, by signing Adoree’ Jackson to a three-year deal. Now the Giants might have one of the NFL’s most elite cornerback duos in 2021.

James Bradberry and Adoree’ Jackson make up an elite duo

James Bradberry and Adoree’ Jackson, when both playing their best football, are top-tier boundary cornerbacks. In 2020, Brabderry proved that while he was snubbed from an AP All-Pro Team selection. He dominated opposing wide receivers week in and week out, holding Amari Cooper to only 23 and 41 yards in two contests, and holding Allen Robinson to only 33 yards in Week Two.

Bradberry set a new career-high in 2020 with 18 passes defended, which was tied for the second-most in the NFL and only two behind Miami’s Xavien Howard for the league lead (Giants.com). PFF also ranked James Bradberry as the fifth-best cornerback in the NFL entering the 2021 season. He has forced 42 incompletions since 2018, the most of any cornerback in the NFL. Not many cornerbacks can blanket opposing wideouts the way James Bradberry does.

Adoree’ Jackson, though, has a similar ability. He too makes plays on the ball and shuts down opposing receivers. Jackson had the second-highest forced incompletion rate (18.4%) among cornerbacks from 2010-2019 (PFF). Since 2018, Adoree Jackson has the fourth-highest coverage grade when lined up outside according to Pro Football Focus with a grade of 85.6. Jackson has missed a lot of time with injuries over the past two years. But if he can stay healthy, Adoree’ Jackson will pair with James Bradberry to create an elite cornerback duo on the New York Giants defense.