Remember how Graham Gano, fresh off an extension, attempted to kick for the NY Giants in the driving rain against the Jets while harboring an injury that "might require surgery"?
As it turns out, that surgery was looming quicker than we expected, and the game didn't, uh, go so well.
The Giants ultimately fell to the Jets 13-10 in overtime, but the final period was not the tale of the game and never should've existed. After an earth-shattering Kayvon Thibodeau sack, the Giants and their non-throwing QB Tommy DeVito just had to convert a first down to end the game. At the very least, if they ran the ball three times, they'd kill the clock to under 30 seconds and set up an easy Gano field goal to put the team up six.
Faced with a fourth and one, Brian Daboll opted to have Gano kick a 35-yard field goal after he'd already missed one earlier in regulation. The veteran's boot came up shanked, Zach Wilson figured out how to play quarterback at the latest possible moment, the Jets committed an uncalled penalty and the Giants lost potentially the second-dumbest game in their long history (shoutout Matt Dodge).
The injury that nagged at Gano last week was to his non-kicking knee, but the veteran is far too trustworthy for it to not have affected him (no matter what he says publicly). That's why it comes as no great shock that the Giants placed Gano on IR Thursday, ushering him into the surgical room. Randy Bullock, formerly of the Titans, won a competition with Robbie Gould and Mason Crosby on Thursday, landing a practice squad spot as Gano's replacement.
NY Giants sign Randy Bullock to replace Graham Gano at kicker.
Sigh. Not like Bullock is some great shakes, but where was this before the Jets debacle?
Bullock, ironically, missed the kick that kickstarted Daboll's incredible debut season in New York, giving the Giants a Week 1 win over the Titans. Pretty spot-on and crappy metaphor that this year, he's the one being called on by Daboll to stabilize things. Completely emblematic of the stark differences between 2022 and 2023, as well as the rails the NY Giants are currently careening off of.
Let this be a lesson to you. Don't coach scared, especially if the "scared" move involves putting faith in a kicker injured enough to land on IR.