Giants Rule out 4 Offensive Starters vs. Patriots on Thursday Night Football
The New York Giants already faced a challenging test entering “Thursday Night Football,” against the New England Patriots. Now, things got much worse for the Giants’ outlook on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the team officially announced they have ruled out tight end Evan Engram, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, and running backs Saquon Barkley and Wayne Gallman.
Barkley’s recovery from a high ankle sprain has accelerated at a ridiculous rate. Considering the injury happened over two weeks ago, it’s a logical approach by the Giants to sit him out of this game. Especially since Barkley will have ten days to heal up before Week 7.
Engram is the newest addition to New York’s injury woes. Despite playing a full game against the Vikings, Engram was diagnosed with a sprained MCL, which made traveling up to New England highly unlikely.
Shepard is dealing with his second concussion in the past four weeks. Shepard suffered his first concussion during New York’s season opener against the Dallas Cowboys. His second happening against the Minnesota Vikings this past Sunday. Considering the knowledge teams, athletes, and fans have about concussions and CTE, Shepard will be out for a significant amount of time.
Gallman also suffered a concussion in the first half against the Vikings. With New York on a short week, there was no chance the third-year back had of playing.
How New York’s Offense Will Look
With these key contributors out, head coach Pat Shurmur and quarterback Daniel Jones will have their hands full.
New England boasts the best defense in the entire NFL, in which they allowed 238.4 offensive yards per game. To make matters worse for Jones, New England’s defense has surrendered zero touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks, while recording 11 interceptions.
So, how will the offense look like in prime-time football on Thursday? ESPN’s Jordan Raanan gave a sneak peek of the starting lineup.
Shurmur will go with Jonathan Hilliman and Eli Penny as the top two (and only active) running backs. Hilliman struggled against Minnesota, and now faces an even tougher New England rush defense.
Rhett Ellison has the unenviable job of taking over for Engram, who has led the team in catches and receiving yards.
Golden Tate will no doubt receive a plethora of targets as the team’s top receiver. Considering the Giants have three healthy receivers, they face two options. They could sign Reggie White Jr, David Sills, or Da’Mari Scott off the practice squad. Or, they can opt to re-sign recently released receivers Bennie Fowler or TJ Jones.
The New York Giants were already underdogs against the New England Patriots. But now with these four brutal injuries, earning a “W” became seemingly unattainable.
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