Injuries are a fact of life in the NFL, and this week Big Blue had to make roster decisions based upon availability.
Thankfully, the New York Giants did come into training camp with some receiver depth. As camp has worn on, however, that depth got tested to its breaking point. With injuries to starters, Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall, the G-Men had to give up on a couple players. Meanwhile, a few other players received a big boost to their roster status.
On Wednesday, the Giants released a statement that they had waived/injured wideouts Andrew Turzilli and Darius Powe. To replace them on the roster, the G-Men inked free agents Marquis Bundy and C.J. Germany.
Heading into this weekend’s contest against the New York Jets, here’s the lowdown on the wide receiver position.
New York Giants: Winners
After the dust settled yesterday, the clear winner became Roger Lewis. Almost overnight, he went from a bubble player to cemented roster player. The main roster competition for Lewis was Powe, and with injuries to the starters, he actually practiced with the first unit yesterday. He will likely log significant repetitions until further notice.
New York Giants
Dwayne Harris missed Monday night’s contest with upper body soreness. But prior to his injury, some folks thought he should be on the bread line. Harris took a pay cut which helped his roster status, and now he’s another player, like Lewis, who knows the offense.
After a very tepid performance on Monday, Sterling Shepard became the last man standing (literally). Shepard looked out of sorts, yet he will likely be the primary target on Saturday. Hopefully, he will step up his game in light of this responsibility.
Lastly, the eyes of the coaching staff will be on rookies Jerome Lane and Travis Rudolph. Based on the health of Tavarres King, one of these two guys could make the final 53-man roster. King re-injured his ankle on Monday, and time waits for no one.
New York Giants: Losers
First, Darius Powe had paid his dues on the practice squad and was pushing Lewis for a roster spot. Poof, that’s gone. Under normal circumstances, the New York Giants may have rode out his hamstring injury. But with OBJ and Marshall being hurt, it clearly became a numbers game, which head coach Ben McAdoo acknowledged according to NJ Advance Media.
"“It was not going to be day-to-day. We’re short on receivers. We think highly of Darius. He’s been a good, productive player for us in the offseason and camp. It’s simply a numbers issue at this point.”"
It would have been nice to see a Rutgers product associated with the Giants. But Andrew Turzilli pulled a hamstring as well, and now he’s gone. Turzilli bounced around the NFL with the Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans, before landing with Big Blue. He really was not around long enough for the Giants to make a commitment to bring him back. We will have to see how rosters shape up around the league.
Tavarres King ends up being a loser as well. With an opportunity to push Shepard for playing time, he now becomes a roster question mark. No one associated with the Giants will say this publicly, but King’s outlook depends on the severity of the injuries to Beckham and Marshall. There is no way the New York Giants can head into the season with half of the receiving corps injured.
New York Giants: TBD
Right now, Rudolph and Lane make it into two categories, as their fate remains undecided. We will see what both players do with this opportunity. Additionally, Caanan Severin and Ed Eagan were brought into camp last week, after injuries to Kevin Snead and Keon Johnson. Eagan saw some time on Monday night on special teams, and both should get offensive snaps on Saturday. In addition to producing, both would need to stay healthy on Saturday, to avoid the same fate as some of their compatriots.