New York Giants: Who Will Come Back From Injured Reserve?

New York Giants sign former Dallas Cowboy, Rod Smith.

The New York Giants have been lucky to avoid long term injuries to major players this offseason, with Sterling Shepard set to make a return in week one after being injured with a fractured thumb at the start of training camp, but that doesn’t mean the team is going into the 2019 season in perfect condition. The team has some players on the injured reserve list after the 53 man roster was released, some of them more notable than others.

The team will be able to bring two players back from IR after week eight, but the rest of the players on IR will have to miss the season. Cornerback Sam Beal managed to avoid making the list despite missing the end of training camp and the preseason with an injury, and Sterling Shepard recovered soon enough from the fractured thumb to avoid having to go on injured reserve.

But the team does have five players on injured reserve – Jonathan Anderson, George Asafo-Adjei, Brittan Golden, Scott Simonsen, and Rod Smith.

Out of all of those players, the one that had the most playing time last season was Scott Simonsen, who the team utilized over Evan Engram at some points in the season when Engram struggled with injuries and had a hard time bouncing back and getting back into the swing of things later in the year.

However, it’s unknown if Engram will have the same problem with usage this year and Simonsen also has Rhet Ellison to compete with, meaning that bringing him back might not be the highest priority for the Giants when it’s time to pick two players after week 8 to return to the active roster.

Rod Smith seems to have fallen out of the backup running back competition following performances from Paul Perkins and Wayne Gallman, so it’s unknown if the Giants will want to bring back a fourth running back midseason.

While Jonathan Anderson is at the important position of inside linebacker, Anderson is also about dead last in the depth chart for the position – which means the most likely option might be the team bringing back Brittan Golden and Asafo-Adjei, both players playing positions of need at receiver and tackle respectively. The Giants could use depth in both areas and despite not being the most obvious choices, both players have survived this far in the hunt to not end up eliminated from the roster, and provide depth in key areas.

New York Giants: Five Players Who Will Be Hard To Release

T.J. Jones, New York Giants

In 2018 the New York Giants turned over so much of their roster they didn’t have many difficult decisions to make. Fast-forward one year and there are some very tough decisions now that the roster is improving under new GM Dave Gettleman. Here are 5 players who would be very tough to say goodbye to:

BJ Goodson

The inside linebacker hasn’t been super impressive in his career, now going into his fourth season. While he’s left a lot to be desired he’s a step above the available inside linebackers on the market. BJ Goodson will most likely be picked up by another team quickly, but he hasn’t out-produced his in-house competition in Tae Davis and Ryan Connelly.

If the team doesn’t plan on keeping four inside linebackers, which is a tall task, they will be forced to release BJ Goodson. Keeping an extra inside linebacker would be a luxury for a team who has uncertainty at the position but the team most likely won’t have room for luxuries.

Scott Simonson

Scott Simonson has been a blocking specialist for the Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers, and most recently, the New York Giants in 2018. Before last year he caught 1 pass in his first 3 years but caught 9 passes from Eli in 2018. He proved to be a functional pass catcher when given the opportunity, along with adequate blocking ability, but the team has plenty of depth at this position.

Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison are a lock to make the team, leaving one more spot for a tight end. Simonson faces tough competition in Garrett Dickerson and CJ Conrad who have both looked more impressive than Simonson throughout training camp. There’s a chance the coaching staff feels differently about his summer performance and keeps Simonson, but if they do move on from him, it will not be an easy decision.

Bennie Fowler

This may surprise some people since Bennie Fowler has been running with the first-team throughout the summer. While that’s true, guys like Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Darius Slayton have all missed significant amounts of practices. Fowler suited up for the New York Giants for 10 games last year, but the team has a ton of depth at this position going into 2019.

Not to say the position has improved overall without you know who, but the depth of the position looks much stronger compared to last year. Fowler started his career as a Denver Bronco and was a backup receiver for the team. He never broke 400 receiving yards and his average yardage per reception never even reached 9 yards.

One of the major knocks on Fowler is the dropped passes which have been an issue here an there this summer. Fowler’s combination of size and speed is impressive but there are too many sure-handed receivers to pick from on the roster to trust Fowler going into a new season.

Brittan Golden

Brittan Golden was injured for most of the training camp but his recent performance should make the coaching staff take a 2nd look at him. After seeming destined to be axed this Saturday, he took the field against the Bengals and returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown. That’s a skill the team has been seeking for a long time. But for Golden to make the roster, the team would need to be willing to designate an entire roster spot to a return specialist.

Golden did catch a nice pass from Daniel Jones about 30 yards down the field, but the top three receiving spots have been decided already. He would also have guys like Darius Slayton, Russell Shepard, and Alonzo Russell to compete with for targets. Golden probably got healthy too late in the summer to make a name for himself. If Jabrill Peppers is gassed after playing defense more often than not and Golden Tate’s age starts to dull his explosiveness, the team might wonder what could’ve been with the potential return specialist.

TJ Jones

Another wide receiver who has flashed throughout the preseason will probably be sent packing on Saturday. TJ Jones was added to the team after camp already started, but he’s done well enough to possibly carve out a spot on the roster. The problem is, he’s not the only one.

One of the deepest positions on the roster is at wide receiver and there’s a handful who have guaranteed spots. Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, Cody Latimer, and Darius Slayton will all be on the team. Only leaving 2 more spots for guys like Russell Shepard, Alonzo Russell, Bennie Fowler, Brittan Golden, and TJ Jones.

The team is very likely to keep Russell Shepard, giving the team 3 receivers who are primarily slot-receivers. This would make it hard to keep a fourth slot-receiver in TJ jones instead of an outside receiver. While he has the talent to stick on rosters around the league, the Giants have no shortage of slot-receiver talent.

This coming Saturday is oftentimes a coach’s most dreaded weekend of the year. Sometimes they have to send valuable players packing for one reason or another. The Giants have a few positions where they will need to shed adequate depth which isn’t easy to do. While it’s not always easy, it’ll be much harder to do than last year, indicating improvement of the team overall.

New York Giants News, 8/27 – Giants lose rookie WR to injury again

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

I wish I had better news on a Tuesday Giants fans, but rookie wide receiver Darius Slayton has once again tweaked his previously injured hamstring.

As if it wasn’t enough to miss the first two games of the preseason, Slayton figured he would re-injure his hamstring just in time for the showdown versus the New England Patriots. Maybe he’s smart given his automatic spot on the roster and desire to stay healthy for the regular season.

The more likely reality is he’s simply injury prone and has a nagging hamstring ailment, a muscle grouping that’s very difficult to heal while under consistent strain.

Luckily for the Giants, top pass-catcher Sterling Shepard is finally without a splint on his fractured thumb and seems to be working his way back nicely. He should have the green-light to suit up against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington week one. However, at this rate, it seems as if Slayton could be left behind, which could give alternatives like Brittan Golden and Allonzo Russell a shot at redemption.

Both Golden and Russell are battling it out for a reserve spot on the roster, but it seems as if the former has the advantage given his punt-returning abilities.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day!

Ed Valentine (Big Blue View) – Giants’ position-by-position breakdown: Assessing the 90-man roster as cuts loom

Zach Braziller (NY Post) – This may be Giants’ last look at Daniel Jones before team is his

Bucky Brooks (NFL.com) – Preseason grades, Week 3: Daniel Jones rolls, Kyler Murray solid

John Fennelly (Giants Wire) – Giants’ Darius Slayton, Sam Beal not practicing as cuts loom

The New York Giants need to give WR TJ Jones a fighting chance

T.J. Jones, New York Giants

With the New York Giants losing Golden Tate for the first four games of the regular season due to a violation against the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, several other past catchers will earn the opportunity to fight for a roster spot.

Tate is an automatic starter, but behind him and Sterling Shepard, the competition is wide open. Receivers such as Cody Latimer, TJ Jones, Brittan Golden, Bennie Fowler, Russell Shepard, and Alonzo Russell are all fighting for a starting spot.

At this point, Latimer seems to be in the lead for the number three spot on the wide receiver corps, but Jones is making a significant impact.

Better receivers have kept Jones in the shadows over the last few seasons. The emergence of Kenny Golladay with the Detroit Lions pushed Jones down the depth chart, but he has plenty of talent and effectiveness to offer another team. The Giants will need his services this year after injuries to Corey Coleman and a suspension to Golden Tate.

What are the New York Giants getting in TJ Jones?

Last season, TJ played in 15 games hauling in 19 receptions for 190 yards and two touchdowns. He had a catch rate of 73.1%, which attests to his trustworthy hands. For the Giants this preseason, he has looked sharp. In the first preseason game against the New York Jets, he led the Giants in both receptions (6) and yards (72) and caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Lauletta on the back shoulder.

His decisiveness and dynamic play style make him a threat as a wide-out and in the slot. The Giants can move him all around the offense and utilize him in different ways to keep the defense honest.

Jones seems to have a chip on his shoulder and sees the opportunity with this struggling wide receiver group. He has left his mark thus far and will earn another chance against the Chicago Bears on Friday night to prove that he can be an impact player during the regular season.

“We signed him because we liked him,” Shurmur said. “We felt like he was a guy that could come in, compete, and make our team, regardless of who we had on the roster. It was more of replacing Corey at that time. When you have a player that’s going to miss a month, then it kind of elevates the guys behind him. One of those guys may be a guy that’s here for a month until Golden gets back.”

New York Giants: Rookie receiver Darius Slayton needs to step up

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

The New York Giants are dropping like flies at the wide receiver position. On Monday, WR Amba Etta Tawo has carted off the field with an apparent leg injury. It has since been confirmed that he tore his Achilles tendon.

Etta Tawo was a fan favorite from 2018 and was looking to make his mark on the team once more this season. With pass-catchers dropping, the Giants brought in the speedster to add depth to the unit, but even the depth is prone to the injury bug.

The Giants now have Sterling Shepard (thumb), Golden Tate (potential suspension), Cody Latimer, TJ Jones, Brittan Golden, Bennie Fowler, Russell Shepard, Allonzo Russell, Da’Mari Scott, Alex Wesley, Reggie White Jr., and Darius Slayton.

Slayton, who was selected in the 5th round, has been nursing a hamstring injury the past few weeks, failing to feature against the New York Jets last week and missing out on essential practice time. However, he’s one of the young bright spots on the offense that offers potentials.

The Auburn product’s primary strength is his impressive speed. Entering mini-camp and OTAs, Slayton looked awful; dropping passes left and right. Once he shook off the rookie jitters, though, he became one of two players to earn first-team reps before training camp.

His most recent injury has held him back significantly.

“It stands out,’’ Giants WR coach Tyke Tolbert said. “It’s noticeable all the plays he was making throughout the spring.’’

The Giants desperately need their speedy pass-catcher on the field, especially with all of the recent injuries popping up. He will likely make his preseason debut against the Chicago Bears on Friday, allowing him to showcase his abilities against professional talent.

Expect head coach Pat Shurmur to utilize him as a wide receiver-screen target and quick slant option. Having great speed and agility off the line of scrimmage will make him deadly within 10 yards. His yards after catch will be the fun part to watch.

 

New York Giants News, 7/27 – The curse of Odell Beckham Jr. is real

New York Giants, Golden Tate

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

First Sterling Shepard, then Corey Coleman, then Brittan Golden…who’s next on the injury list knock on wood. Maybe the Odell Beckham Jr. curse is real.

The Giants are two practices into training camp and are already facing an uphill battle at the wide receiver position. Fortunately, GM Dave Gettleman will be bringing in several pass catchers to try out, including former draft pick while at Carolina, Kelvin Benjamin.

Several receivers the Giants should look at are Benjamin, Michael Crabtree, and Pierre Garcon. Three veterans that can pick up a starting workload and supplement the loss of impact players. Hopefully, Gettleman can find a serviceable replacement on a veteran deal.

However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see rookie Darius Slayton earn more reps and playing time, despite him dealing with a pulled hamstring at the moment. His speed and agility can be beneficial. He progressed very well during mini-camp after struggling with numerous drops early on in the offseason.

Aside from the receivers, the quarterbacks have started off rocky, but both looked far better in day two of practice. Daniel Jones has hit on numerous long-balls and finished Friday 9-of-12 with two impressive touchdown throws.

Nonetheless–

Your top Giants news of the day!

Dan Salomone (Giants.com) – Who stood out at Giants training camp? (7/26)

Ryan Dunleavy (NJ.com) – Giants QB practice report: Daniel Jones goes deep on high-completion day | Full breakdown

Paul Schwartz (New York Post) – How Dave Gettleman is going to break the bad news to Eli Manning

Dan Benton (Giants Wire) – Report: Giants will work out Flynn Nagel, other receivers

Alexander Wilson (Empire Sports Media) – New York Giants: Nate Solder preparing to be rock he’s being paid to be

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New York Giants: Corey Coleman tears ACL in first training camp practice

New York Giants, Corey Coleman

Prior to New York Giants No. 1 receiver Sterling Shepard fracturing his thumb midway through the first training camp practice, it was thought that Corey Coleman and Cody Latimer were battling it out for the No. 3 spot on the team.

However, it has been revealed that Coleman tore his ACL as well, sending two promising pass catchers for the Giants to the sidelines. Sterling will likely return before the start of the regular season but Coleman will miss the entire 2019 season.

After making comments of breaking out, head coach Pat Shurmur must be disappointed:

“We are going to see the best of [Coleman],” head coach Pat Shurmur said. “He’s the first one to tell you when he came in the league, he had a lot to learn. Now he’s got an opportunity to maybe be a front-line player.”

This injury dampens the mood for a receiving corps that’s extremely thin behind Shepard and Golden Tate. They do have Latimer still available, but it seems rookie Darius Slayton may get more reps after the injury to Corey.

On the bright side, Shepard will not require surgery and will be watched on a week-by-week basis. Unfortunately for both pass catchers, but the better of the two will be okay, so it seems.