The NY Giants took some injury risks this offseason and its already shown

Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay takes a moment to rest during Giants practice, in East Rutherford. Thursday, July 29, 2021Giants
Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay takes a moment to rest during Giants practice, in East Rutherford. Thursday, July 29, 2021Giants /
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NY Giants, Adoree' Jackson
New York Giants cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

Adoree’ Jackson, Cornerback

Adoree’ Jackson was having a strong offseason and appeared healthy… up until two weeks ago.

Jackson avoided the worst-case scenario and didn’t tear any ligaments or break any bones. However, he suffered a serious ankle sprain that has painful, stiff swelling along with it. Jackson is hopeful to play for Week 1 but his status remains in serious doubt.

Jackson has been hurt all throughout his career. He’s missed 18 games the last two years, five in 2019 and 13 games in 2020. Jackson has to shed the injury label to be the lockdown duo with James Bradberry as the NY Giants envisioned.

Elerson Smith, EDGE Rusher

Elerson Smith may deal with an unofficial redshirt freshman year in the NFL.

Smith has fought against hamstring injuries all offseason long. It has caused him to miss meaningful reps on the field to learn the NFL game and further understand and appreciate the game speed. Smith will be eligible to play Week 4 and beyond if he’s ready to go. It could be a while as he may be behind the curve.

Smith didn’t have a football season in 2020. He has missed most of the beginning to 2021 so the Giants need to see him back on a football field and take live reps against NFL opponents.

Aaron Robinson, Cornerback

Aaron Robinson’s injury has flown under the radar.

Robinson hasn’t been on the field since getting surgery in June on his core muscle. Robinson was looking to compete head-on with Darnay Holmes for time and perhaps a starting spot as the nickel/third cornerback.

As expected, Robinson has already been placed on PUP since making the 53-man roster. He isn’t ready for the start of the season. He will miss the first 6 games of 2021 and the Giants will re-evaluate the situation then. It’s a frustrating, disappointing development for the NY Giants’ 3rd round pick from UCF.

Azeez Ojulari, EDGE Rusher

Azeez Ojulari doesn’t have as many injury concerns as others listed here.

However, he’s missed time the last two or so weeks with what Joe Judge has called a ‘nagging injury’. Ojulari was primarily playing with the starters as he typically ran with the 1st team defense.

Ojulari played against the Patriots so he seems ready to go for Week 1. There were some pre-draft concerns over some lower body issues OJlari allegedly has, but it’s something the Giants have already addressed and their medical staff and the front office is comfortable with all the tests and information.

Danny Shelton, Defensive Tackle

Danny Shelton should play a vital role in the Giants’ defense. He should be the space-eating, gap-stopper as the nose tackle of the defensive line.

Shelton has missed about the last week of practice. It wasn’t enough to place him on IR or keep him off the team (for now). Shelton missed four games last year and has only had three 16-game seasons in his 6-year career. If he stays healthy, he could be a great role player and sleeper contributor to the Giants’ promising defense.

Reggie Ragland, Inside Linebacker

Reggie Ragland is another grizzled veteran who comes with some injury baggage. Ragland began August on the Non-Football Injury List (NFI).

Ragland was a superstar player for Nick Saban at Alabama. His NFL career hasn’t gone the same. Ragland has dealt with numerous injuries in his pro career that have set him back. He’s played four seasons and played two 16-game years while missing six in the other two. He has to stay healthy to be a steady part of the Giants’ inside linebacker rotation.

Ryan Anderson & Ifeadi Odenigbo, EDGE Rushers

Ryan Anderson and Ifeadi Odenigbo are both no longer with the team.

However, both of their signings underscore the importance of discussing risk with signing free agents. Odenigbo wasn’t at all an injury risk, he just didn’t work out for other reasons. The lesson with Odenigbo stems from the front office making sure they give guaranteed, million dollar+ contracts out to guys who will make the final roster. It didn’t work out with Odenigbo and $1 million isn’t substantial money for any team, but it’s never ideal to waste valuable money like that for an offseason-only player.

On the other hand, Ryan Anderson had prior injury concerns.

Since being a 2nd round pick in 2017, Anderson has missed two, three, and seven games in four years in the NFL. Anderson missed a good amount of practice time at the beginning of training camp. He was stuck on the NFI list and was unable to participate in practice. Add in extended competition at his position, a cheap contract, and his 60-game suspension for PEDs became a death sentence for his time in New York.

Josh Jackson, Cornerback

Newly acquired Josh Jackson has not participated in practice much since being traded to the NY Giants.

Jackson dealt with a variety of injuries and illnesses with the Packers. Add in being a healthy scratch numerous times and it just never worked out for him in Green Bay.

The decision makers thought highly enough of Jackson to swap him for Isaac Yiadom who started 10 games for the defense last year. Jackson has to get healthy to be ready to contribute in any way early in the season. The Giants have plenty of depth and options to go with at cornerback and Jackson must fit in and learn on the fly.

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