Sep 022017
 
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Mark Herzlich, New York Giants (November 27, 2016)

Mark Herzlich – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS REDUCE ROSTER TO 53; TRADE FOR CORNERBACK…
On Saturday, in order to meet the NFL’s 53-man roster limit, the New York Giants made 29 roster moves.

Players who were placed on Injured Reserve included:

  • LB Mark Herzlich (burner)
  • DT Josh Banks (shoulder – torn labrum requiring surgery)

Players who were cut included:

  • QB Josh Johnson
  • RB Shaun Draughn
  • RB Khalid Abdullah
  • FB Jacob Huesman
  • WR Travis Rudolph
  • WR Jerome Lane
  • WR Canaan Severin
  • WR Marquis Bundy
  • WR Ed Eagan
  • TE Will Tye
  • OT Adam Bisnowaty
  • OT Jarron Jones
  • OG/OC Jon Halapio
  • OG Matt Rotheram
  • DE Devin Taylor
  • DE Jordan Williams
  • DT Bobby Richardson
  • LB Deontae Skinner
  • LB Stansly Maponga
  • LB Curtis Grant
  • CB Donte Deayon
  • CB DaShaun Amos
  • CB Nigel Tribune
  • S Ryan Murphy
  • S Trey Robinson
  • PK Mike Nugent

The Giants also sent a conditional draft pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for cornerback Ross Cockrell. The 6’0”, 191-pound Cockrell was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The Bills cut Cockrell in August 2015 and he then signed with the Steelers. In two seasons with the Steelers, Cockrell played in 31 regular-season games with 23 starts. He started all 16 games in 2016 and finished the year with 62 tackles and 14 pass defenses. He had two interceptions with the Steelers in 2015. Cockrell struggled with the Steelers this preseason.

“Today was a challenging day. This week was a challenging week,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “You have to hand it to the players. They really worked hard in camp. And then Thursday night really made it tough on us. It’s a tough day every time you go through it. The second year is probably harder than it was last year, considering the relationships you build with the men on the team.”

Regarding the competition between quarterbacks Geno Smith and Josh Johnson for the primary back-up job behind Eli Manning, McAdoo said,  “It was a close call. Both men earned an opportunity and can play in this league. We wish Josh the best and thanked him for everything he’s done for us.”

Aldrick Rosas beat out veteran Mike Nugent for the team’s place kicker. “We know Aldrick has a big leg, and we really liked the way he responded throughout training camp and in the preseason games,” McAdoo said. “Mike Nugent was a guy that came in and was a great teammate and was a pro. He pushed Aldrick, which made him better, and it made Aldrick better. I think at the end of the day you go with the players who’s been here (since January) and has the biggest upside.”

Five of the team’s six 2017 draft choices made the 53-man roster. Bisnowaty was waived despite being drafted in the 6th round. In addition, three rookie free agents are on the team: FB Shane Smith, OT Chad Wheeler, and LB Calvin Munson.

“Munson is a guy we were excited about from a special teams perspective,” McAdoo said. “He’s also a guy that can add depth at linebacker. We had a lot of guys nicked at the linebacker position, so he got to play a lot of football for us, which is good for him. We need to get him going on the special teams as well. It’s a credit to Munson, he’s done a nice job jumping in with both feet and really taking advantage of his meeting time and his field time.

“Wheeler probably should have been drafted in the middle rounds somewhere. He slid on the board and we were fortunate enough to get him as a free agent. He’s a talented player who has a little bit of a mean streak in him, which we like. Fundamentally, he’s coming along, and we feel he has a bright future for us.

“Shane Smith – we wanted to take the best 53 and not be concerned about which position they play. It just happens to be he’s a fullback and he really fits in well with the tight end group as far as his skill set. He can do a variety of things for us on special teams and on offense. It adds another piece to your board. You can move him around. He has some flexibility.”

Last year, in his second season, Will Tye was promoted to the starting tight end spot at midseason after the bye week. He played in all 16 regular-season games, with 10 starts, and finished the year with 48 catches for 395 yards (8.2 yards per catch) and just one touchdown. Tye was originally signed as a rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. In 2015, he played in 13 games with seven starts, and finished the season with 42 catches for 464 yards and three touchdowns. Tye was voted to the Pro Football Writers NFL All-Rookie Team.

“Will is a guy that played a lot of football for us and played well,” McAdoo said. “That was a tough decision to make, but we feel we chose the best four (tight ends) for our football team moving forward. We’re excited to get going with those guys.”

Herzlich was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has started 17 regular-season games in his six seasons with the Giants, eight of which were in 2014. Last year, Herzlich played in 14 regular-season games, missing two with a concussion. He finished with seven tackles on defense.

“We felt it was best to put Mark on IR this year and give him an opportunity to get healthy,” McAdoo said. “He’ll still be involved with the team, whether it’s in the locker room, or in the meeting rooms. Mark will still be around to help the guys.”

Veteran DE Devin Taylor, who the Giants signed in the offseason, was also cut. “We have a lot of talented players in that defensive line room, a lot of depth in the room,” said McAdoo. “Devin Taylor can play in the league – he’s played in this league and he’s started in this league. He’ll probably go somewhere else and do the same thing. We’re confident with the group of men we have in the room.”

ARTICLES…

Sep 012017
 
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Aldrick Rosas, New York Giants (August 31, 2017)

Aldrick Rosas – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS MAKE NINE ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have officially waived eight players and placed another on Injured Reserve:

  • WR C.J. Germany (Waived)
  • OL Richard Levy (Waived)
  • LB Steven Daniels (Waived)
  • LB Chris Casher (Waived)
  • CB Tim Scott (Waived)
  • CB Tay Glover-Wright (Waived)
  • CB Daniel Gray (Waived)
  • S Duke Ihenacho (Injured Reserve)
  • S Eric Pinkins (Waived)

Aside from Pinkins and Ihenacho, the other seven players were added to the roster last month when injuries affected those respective positions. Ihenacho injured his knee in the third preseason game against the New York Jets.

Pinkins was signed to the Practice Squad in October 2016 and the 53-man roster in November. He ended up playing in five games for the Giants, mostly on special teams. Pinkins was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks.

The Giants signed Ihenacho as an unrestricted free agent in May 2017. Ihenacho was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Denver Broncos after the 2012 NFL Draft. The Redskins claimed him off of waivers from the Broncos in August 2014. Ihenacho spent most of 2014 (broken foot) and 2015 (dislocated/fractured wrist) on Injured Reserve. Ihenacho started 10 of 15 regular-season games in 2016, being credited with 66 tackles and two pass defenses.

The Giants roster now stands at 80 players. Teams must officially reduce their active rosters to 53 players by 4:00PM ET on Saturday.

FRIDAY BEN MCADOO CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo addressed the media by conference call on Friday to discuss the team’s 40-38 win over the New England Patriots:

Q: What did you think of QB Geno Smith and QB Josh Johnson when you watched last night’s film?

A: They both graded out high. They played well. Again, it’s going to be a tough decision.

Q: How far along were you in the decision-making process with quarterbacks Geno Smith and Josh Johnson leading into last night’s game?

A: We were going to let it play out. We weren’t going to rush to any decisions. We’re continuing the evaluation process today and we’ll make a decision tomorrow.

Q: Will you keep one of the backup quarterbacks on the roster as of now?

A: Can I say if we’re going to keep one of them? I will say nothing about who we’re going to keep.

Q: Can you talk about the kicking competition and if K Aldrick Rosas won a spot on the roster last night?

A: Well, I think Mike (Nugent) and Aldrick, they both competed at a high level. Mike had a tremendous game last week versus the Jets and we wanted to see how Aldrick responded and he responded very well last night. We’re taking a look at it right now.

Q: How much do you factor in the ages of kickers Aldrick Rosas and Mike Nugent when it comes to earning a roster spot?

A: I think experience is a big factor, whether you look at lack of experience or an experienced player. I don’t know that age really matters all that much. I think experience does, especially at that position. But both men have done exactly what we’ve asked them to do and performed and played at a high level.

Q: Now that you’ve had a full preseason with a fullback, how much of an impact has that made on the offense and the run game in particular?

A: I mean, just like every year since I’ve been here, we had a preseason with a fullback. We had a couple guys who played at a high level. Shane Smith did a nice job in there for us yesterday. He is a guy who’s continuing to learn the position. He’s new to the position and developing as a special-teamer. Those guys have done a nice job for us. Again, we have some tough decisions to make at that fullback spot and tight end spot.

Q: How do you think the tight end competition went last night?

A: It was good to see (Matt) LaCosse produce. We’ve been seeing that in the OTA’s and in training camp – him producing, making plays and having a chance to score a couple times, as well as contributing in the two-minute drive, was good to see. We’ve been seeing that all along in practice. It’s nice for it to show up on game day. Jerell (Adams) blocked very physical. He was a physical player. Didn’t get many opportunities in the pass game, but came on as a blocker yesterday in the ball game. Will Tye. You take the second play of the game out of the mix – he had a nice night.

Q: How do feel that T Chad Wheeler developed over the summer?

A: I think he’s coming along. I think his best days are ahead of him as a player. I think he has some versatility for us. It’s encouraging.

Q: Where else do you think T Chad Wheeler can be used since you mentioned the word ‘versatility?’

A: I think he has some flexibility to play both sides and possibly inside.

Q: How much work have you done on the Cowboys over these last couple of months?

A: I focus one week at a time and we’ll be ready for Dallas when it gets here.

Q: Is it fair to say that you’ve at least looked at Dallas in the offseason?

A: We brush up on division opponents in the offseason, that’s fair to say.

Q: How much are you paying attention to Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott’s legal proceedings?

A: We’re focused on our own team right now. Whoever rolls out there for Dallas, whoever they put on the field, we’ll be prepared for, we’ll have a plan for and we’ll be ready to go.

Q: Did you have any injuries in last night’s game?

A: We had a couple guys nicked, but nothing of note.

Q: Has there been any progress for linebacker Mark Herzlich injury-wise?

A: Herzlich, he’s making progress. He’s down there getting treatment right now, we’ll see how he responds.

Q: How much tougher has it been to have the roster cut down to 53 players in one swoop, as opposed to doing it gradually, like it was in the past?

A: Well, I think it’s challenging because we feel that we have more than 53 who can play. That’s what’s going to make it challenging for us. We like where we’re at from a roster standpoint. We feel we have some depth, we had some good competition and at the positions we needed to see a lot out of last night, they stood up and they played and they competed. It was exciting to watch and it made our job even harder, but that’s good. That’s a great problem to have.

Q: How tough of a decision is it on Herzlich, not knowing when he will be healthy enough to play?

A: That’s part of it. Obviously, you weigh that in, but that’s more of a medical decision. That’s something that you have to factor in when you get to the 53.

Q: Are players off Saturday and Sunday of this weekend?

A: They’ll have a little time away from the building, unless they need to receive medical treatment, yes.

Q: What does it say about your program that you haven’t been hit with any long-term injuries like we see around the league during preseason?

A: Right now, we’re worried about picking the best 53 guys that we have. We appreciate the effort and everything that everyone on the 90[-man] roster has put into this team. We wouldn’t be where we are without a lot of the guys that we’re getting ready to cut. It’s going to be a tough couple of days. Injuries are a part of the game, they happen, you can’t control them all. But we feel with the 90 that we had, that we built up a pretty physical, heavy-handed, conditioned team and it’s a challenge doing it when you have three games in 11 days, but the players responded. And I think they did a nice job last night fighting through some things and playing for each other.

Q: Do you meet with every player that you cut?

A: Yes.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts of the media conference calls with the following players on Friday are available in The Corner Forum:

Aug 312017
 
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Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants (August 31, 2017)

Orleans Darkwa – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 40 – NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 38…
The New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 40-38 on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Giants – who blew a 34-14 first-half lead – won the game with no time remaining on place kicker Aldrick Rosas’ 48-yard field goal. The Giants finished the preseason 2-2.

The Giants and Patriots treated the game more like a scrimmage. Only one of the Giants’ projected 22 starters played in the game: safety Darian Thompson.

The starting offense consisted of quarterback Geno Smith; running back Orleans Darkwa; fullback Shane Smith; wide receivers Roger Lewis, Jr. and Travis Rudolph; tight end Will Tye; and offensive linemen Chad Wheeler, Jon Halapio, Brett Jones, D.J. Fluker, and Adam Bisnowaty.

The starters on defense were ends Kerry Wynn and Devin Taylor; defensive tackles Robert Thomas and Josh Banks; linebackers Romero Okwara, Calvin Munson, and J.T. Thomas; cornerbacks Donte Deayon and Nigel Tribune; and safeties Darian Thompson and Andrew Adams.

On the second offensive snap to start the game, Tye fumbled the ball away to New England after a short reception. Six plays later, on 3rd-and-6, Patriots quarterback Jacoby Brissett threw a 9-yard touchdown pass. The Giants back-ups responded with an impressive drive against the Patriots back-ups, moving the ball 75 yards in eight plays and culminating with a Smith 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Matt LaCosse. On New England’s very next offensive snap, Wynn intercepted Brissett’s pass and returned it 15 yards four a touchdown. Giants 14 – Patriots 7.

After forcing a three-and-out, the Giants put together another long drive, going 74 yards in 14 plays. However, this time New York had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Rosas. New England responded with a quick 5-play, 75-yard effort that ended with a 14-yard touchdown pass. Giants 17 – Patriots 14.

Back came the Giants with another 14-play, 74-yard effort. But unlike the preceding New York drive, this one resulted in a touchdown as running back Shaun Draughn scored from one yard out. On the first offensive play of the Patriots ensuing drive, linebacker J.T. Thomas forced a fumble that fellow linebacker Stansly Maponga recovered at the New England 27-yard line. Quarterback Josh Johnson then hit Tye for a 24-yard gain. Two plays later he found LaCosse for the tight end’s second score of the contest. Giants 31 – Patriots 14.

The Giants forced a three-and-out. New York got the ball back near mid-field with 30 seconds left. Johnson found wide receiver Travis Rudolph for 27 yards, helping to set up Rosas from 31 yards out. At the half, the Giants led 34-14.

After picking up one first down, the Patriots were forced to punt to start the third quarter. The Giants drove from their own 23-yard line to the Pats 27-yard line, but on 4th-and-1, running back Wayne Gallman was nailed for a 1-yard loss. The Patriots then drove 72 yards in 14 plays to cut the Giants lead to 31-21.

With Davis Webb now at the helm for the Giants, New York responded with a 12-play, 66-yard effort that ended with a 27-yard field goal by Rosas. The Giants were now up 34-21 early in the fourth quarter.

The Giants defensive third- and fourth-teamers could not hold the lead however. New England scored 17 points in the final quarter, including touchdown drives of 9-plays, 79-yards and 12-plays, 87-yards. The Patriots got the ball back at their own 31-yard line with 1:42 left to play. In seven plays, they managed to drive to the New York 37-yard line, setting up what looked to be a game-winning 55-yard field goal with 44 seconds left to play.

After returning the kickoff, the Giants started their last offensive possession at their own 25-yard line with 39 seconds to play. Webb completed 4-of-6 passes for 45 yards to set up Rosas from 48 yards out with four seconds on the clock. Rosas made the kick as time expired.

Offensively, Smith completed 10-of-11 passes for 111 yards and one touchdown, Johnson 11-of-14 for 135 yards and one touchdown, and Webb 8-of-14 for 103 yards. The leading receivers were LaCosse (5 catches for 60 yards and 2 touchdowns), Tye (4 catches for 48 yards), and Rudolph (3 catches for 46 yards). The leading rushers were Draughn (14 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown), Orleans Darkwa (6 carries for 40 yards), and Gallman (8 carries for 27 yards).

The Giants only had one sack in the game, by defensive tackle Robert Thomas.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Not playing in the game due to injury were wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle), wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), defensive tackle Jay Bromley (sprained knee), linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion), linebacker Mark Herzlich (burner), cornerback Eli Apple (ankle), cornerback Michael Hunter (concussion), and Duke Ihenacho (sprained knee).

The Giants did not appear to suffer any significant injuries in the game.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Ben McAdoo and the following players are available at Giants.com:

MASSIVE CUT-DOWN DAY ON SATURDAY…
Clubs must reduce their active rosters to 53 players by 4:00PM ET on Saturday.

ARTICLES…

Aug 292017
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (August 26, 2017)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS CUT OWAMAGBE ODIGHIZUWA…
The New York Giants have waived defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa, who was suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2017 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.

“It is unfortunate that things have gone in this direction,” said General Manager Jerry Reese, “but we wish nothing but the best for Owa as we all move forward.”

Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants, Odighizuwa has not developed as hoped or expected. Hamstring and foot injuries caused him to miss 12 games of his rookie season. He missed two regular-season games in 2016 with a knee injury and the playoff game with a hamstring injury. In his 18 regular-season games, Odighizuwa has been credited with just six tackles and one pass defense.

INJURY UPDATE…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle), wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), defensive tackle Jay Bromley (sprained knee), linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion), linebacker Mark Herzlich (burner), cornerback Eli Apple (ankle), cornerback Michael Hunter (concussion), and Duke Ihenacho (sprained knee) did not practice.

“(Beckham) got some treatment, he’s in there taking care of himself, getting ready to go,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo.

“(My ankles) feel good,” said Apple. “The one that’s hurt right now is my left one, and it’s coming along well. Just taking it day by day…it’s just a little sprain.”

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Tuesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the team on Wednesday. The Giants play the Patriots in New England on Thursday night.

Aug 282017
 
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Owa Odighizuwa, New York Giants (November 14, 2016)

Owa Odighizuwa – © USA TODAY Sports Images

OWAMAGBE ODIGHIZUWA SUSPENDED…
New York Giants defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2017 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances. Odighizuwa will be eligible to return to the Giants active roster on Monday, October 2 following the team’s October 1 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Odighizuwa is eligible to participate in all remaining preseason practices and games.

Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants, Odighizuwa has not developed as hoped or expected. Hamstring and foot injuries caused him to miss 12 games of his rookie season. He missed two regular-season games in 2016 with a knee injury and the playoff game with a hamstring injury. In his 18 regular-season games, Odighizuwa has been credited with just six tackles and one pass defense.

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have placed offensive lineman Adam Gettis (foot) on Injured Reserve. The team also waived/injured defensive end Evan Schwan (broken foot). Both players were injured during the Giants-Jets game on Saturday. To fill these roster vacancies, the team claimed cornerback Tay Glover-Wright off of waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles and signed rookie free agent cornerback Daniel Gray.

The 6’0”, 180-pound Glover-Wright was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Atlanta Falcons after the 2014 NFL Draft. Glover-Wright has spent time with the Falcons (2014), Green Bay Packers (2014), Indianapolis Colts (2015-2016), and Eagles (2017), but he has only played in two NFL games (both in 2015).

The 5’10”, 190-pound Gray was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Arizona Cardinals after the 2017 NFL Draft. The Cardinals waived him last week.

Gettis spent the bulk of the 2016 season on the Practice Squad, but he did play in three games with one start at left guard, performing admirably. Gettis was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He has spent time with the Redskins (2012-2013), Steelers (2014), Giants (2014-2015), Raiders (2015), and Giants again (2015-2016). Gettis has played in 17 regular-season games with one start.

Schwan was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft.

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle), wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), defensive tackle Damon Harrison (rest day), defensive tackle Jay Bromley (sprained knee), linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion), linebacker Mark Herzlich (burner), cornerback Eli Apple (ankle), cornerback Michael Hunter (concussion), and Duke Ihenacho (sprained knee) did not practice.

“Jay (Bromley is) sore,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “We’ll it take it day-by-day right now and see how he responds to treatment.”

“We will take it one day at a time,” Bromley said. “It’s remarkable how it feels from one day to the next. I am just going to keep working on it, keep going to treatment and just keep getting better every day… I definitely want to play for the opener, but I just got to listen to my body and take it one day at a time.”

“(Beckham is) improving,” said McAdoo. “He’s getting treatment, he responds well to treatment and we’ll repeat that process again for tomorrow.”

Wide receivers Brandon Marshall (shoulder) and Dwayne Harris (upper body) returned to practice.

It was determined that running back Shaun Draughn did not suffer a concussion in the Jets game. He practiced.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The New York Giants practice on Tuesday at 11:20AM.

Aug 272017
 
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Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (August 26, 2017)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY UPDATE…
Six New York Giants left the game against the New York Jets with injuries: CB Eli Apple (ankle), DT Jay Bromley (sprained knee), OG Adam Gettis (foot), RB Shaun Draughn (concussion/neck), S Duke Ihenacho (sprained knee), and DE Evan Schwan (broken foot).

“Jay (Bromley) has a knee sprain,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “Eli (Apple) still has an ankle. I don’t have really any updates on those injuries. Evan Schwan has a foot fracture. (Duke) Ihenacho also has a knee sprain. That’s all I have.”

Not playing in the game were WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle), WR Brandon Marshall (shoulder), WR Dwayne Harris (upper body), WR Tavarres King (ankle), LB Keenan Robinson (concussion), LB Mark Herzlich (stinger), and CB Michael Hunter (concussion).

“We’ll see (if Beckham and Marshall practice this week),” said McAdoo. “We practice tomorrow, and we’ll get up in the morning and see how they respond to what’s going on medically, the treatment that they’re getting, and if they’re able to go, we’ll practice them.”

“Michael Hunter is still in the concussion protocol,” said McAdoo. “We do like Michael Hunter. He was out there playing at a high level for us and competing very well for us. We hope to get him back as soon as we can.”

SUNDAY BEN MCADOO CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo addressed the media by conference call on Sunday to discuss the team’s 32-31 win over the New York Jets:

Opening Remarks: We’ll start with the defensive side and what we did well. The first group, they were out there flying around. We were disruptive up front; that led to 16 points directly, plus some points and opportunities on the offensive side of the ball. We need to work on ripping at the Duke, we need to clean up the penalties, shore up the tackling, continue to make communication a priority, and develop some depth behind the first group.

Offense, what we did well, I thought we made some gains, especially in the first quarter. Showing signs of being explosive in both the run and the pass. We ran through some arm tackles and made some safeties miss. What we need to work on, we left some points (off) the board. We tripped in pass protection that led to an interception, the release and the throw versus press, on the third down to Evan (Engram), and we need to be better at press overall. Too many penalties, and we need to complete the ball at a higher percentage.

Special teams, what we did well – kickoff coverage was physical, punt coverage improved. We had great situational work, whether it was kickoff after a safety or the hands team, and we’ve got one heck of a competition at the kicker’s spot. With what we need to work on, we need to get the punt return going. With that, we’ll open it up.

Q: How do you decide the kicker competition when neither guy is missing?

A: Well, we just keep on competing. We have a short week here to get ready to go, and we’ll just keep on competing.

Q: You said you wanted to get a look at some different offensive linemen with C Brett Jones and T Chad Wheeler, what did you see on the film?

A: I thought Jones and Wheeler and Fluker jumped in there and did a nice job, and they’re competing at a high level.

Q: Any potential changes?

A: We’re going to continue to evaluate.

Q: Any injury updates on CB Eli Apple or DT Jay Bromley?

A: Jay has a knee sprain. Eli still has an ankle. I don’t have really any updates on those injuries. Evan Schwan has a foot fracture. (Duke) Ihenacho also has a knee sprain. That’s all I have.

Q: Is this the best you’ve seen Jason Pierre-Paul play?

A: JPP was dialed in and playing at a high level last night. He was very disruptive – the safety was an impressive play. Clubbing the tackle and getting skinny and making the play on a stretch play. He was all over the field – very productive. He had an outstanding night.

Q: Is it too early to say that the running game is starting to click a little more?

A: Again, we played so many different players. Right now, we’re just out there evaluating and taking a look at some things schematically and see what we can do from that standpoint. So, we’re mixing some things. We’ll have to get into the regular season to really get a vibe on that.

Q: Where’s the backup quarterback competition at this point?

A: We’re still not in a position to say who the number two is. Thursday night we’re hoping it cleans itself up.

Q: Has anybody moved ahead or done anything to separate themselves from the pack?

A: No.

Q: You played QB Eli Manning less than last year in the third game, do you expect him to play Thursday?

A: We’ll handle the play time very similar to the way we handled it for last year’s fourth preseason game.

Q: Is QB Davis Webb in that conversation for the No. 2 job because of the lack of clarity?

A: Never say never.

Q: Going into last night’s game without your best two receivers, how do you feel about the depth at the position?

A: We were confident going into the game with the players that we have on the roster. We feel like we have some tight ends and some receivers, even with the caliber of the players we had out, that can get open. I think it showed up that we need to be better against press coverage with those players. We’ll address that in the room tomorrow, but I feel we had some guys step up and take advantage of their opportunities.

Q: You’re two games into this three games in 11-day period; so far how do you like the tempo of the team?

A: I think going into the Monday night game on the road, I feel that we were a little heavy-legged. You can even make an argument that last night, despite the production, that we were a little heavy-legged, but that’s what this time of the year is all about. We’re building some calluses, though. That’s what I like about this team – they’re willing to work and willing to build the calluses, and that’s going to go a long way for us when we do get our legs back.

Q: At what point do you start to give them more recovery time?

A: That’ll happen naturally after this ballgame. It’s all built in.

Q: How likely is it that WR Odell Beckham Jr. and WR Brandon Marshall get back on the practice field this week?

A: We’ll see. We practice tomorrow, and we’ll get up in the morning and see how they respond to what’s going on medically, the treatment that they’re getting, and if they’re able to go, we’ll practice them.

Q: What was the explanation the officials gave you for the replay late in the game when they reviewed the play after running another play?

A: Well, New York decided to stop the play. They felt there was enough time to get the play stopped. The communication didn’t happen fast enough from New York to the playing field, and they let the play go on. It should’ve been a sack-fumble and end of the ball game. We ended up having a player get carted off the field on it, which is inexcusable to have a play that doesn’t count, or never existed, and have a player get carted off the field. That’s the explanation I got.

Q: Did you get a good look at tight end Evan Engram’s blocking abilities when he was going up against guys on the Jets defensive line like defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson?

A: Yeah, Wilkerson’s a handful. They have a bunch of handfuls on that defense and Evan has some things he has to learn from, finish-wise. He has to finish better as a blocker; he’s certainly willing as a blocker. It’s preseason and he’s going to find out it’s going to turn up a notch on him here very quickly. But, he just needs to keep on developing. He’s a willing teamer, he’s a football player that is not a selfish football player. He’s a team guy and that shows up in special teams, that shows up in offense.

Q: Was getting called for a delay of game after Landon Collins’ interception return for a touchdown a teachable moment?

A: Well, we have a lot of concerns about the [new league celebration] rule. As soon as the official puts his hands out that says it’s a touchdown, we’ve got to make sure we get the ball put down and the PAT team on the field ready to go. There’s certain mechanical things that are happening. The snapper, the holder and the kicker need to be able to set up and get ready to go. I don’t feel that the defense took too long celebrating on either of their two touchdowns, but that clock happens fast and we need to be able to move fast. It just seems like when the offense is on the field, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be as big of a rush, but when the defense scores, it definitely is a challenging transition that we need to address.

Q: Are you concerned about your depth at cornerback and do you have any update on Michael Hunter Jr.?

A: Well, we like the guys that we have in the [cornerback] room. They’re competing at a high level. Michael Hunter is still in the concussion protocol. We do like Michael Hunter. He was out there playing at a high level for us and competing very well for us. We hope to get him back as soon as we can.

Q: How did linebacker J.T. Thomas look in his first game action since coming back from injury?

A: It was good to see J.T. out there. He was flying around. He actually got knocked off his feet one time on the boundary and bounced right back up. That was great to see. I think that’s a major hurdle when you’re coming back from an injury. But if you can go down and then pop right back up, that’s a big moment for J.T.

Q: Does Thomas have enough time to make this team?

A: Absolutely.

ARTICLES…

Aug 272017
 
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Eli Apple, New York Giants (August 26, 2017)

Eli Apple – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS 32 – NEW YORK JETS 31…
The New York Giants dominated the first half of their annual preseason game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium but had to hold on late to escape with a 32-31 victory. Despite leading 29-3 at the half, the Jets drew to within one point late in the game and decided to go for the 2-point conversion instead of sending the game into overtime. The Giants stuffed the conversion attempt and knelt on the ball to preserve the win.

But the Giants lost six players due to injury (see injury update below), including cornerback Eli Apple (ankle) and defensive tackle Jay Bromley (knee).

Sixteen of the Giants’ 29 first-half points were scored by the defense. After the Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out to start the game, quarterback Eli Manning and the offense moved the ball from their own 27 to the Jets’ 28-yard line. But on 2nd-and-8, Manning – who was immediately pressured – threw an ill-advised pass deep which was picked off at the Jets’ 3-yard line. However, two plays later defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul sliced into the backfield to nail running back Matt Forte in the end zone for a safety. After the free kick, the Giants drove 56 yards to set up a successful 24-yard field goal by place kicker Adrick Rosas. The Giants led 5-0.

After the ensuing Giants’ kickoff, safety Landon Collins jumped a quarterback Christian Hackenberg pass and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown and the Giants took a 12-0 lead. The Jets went three-and-out and the G-Men then drove 56 yards in seven plays, culminating with a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Orleans Darkwa. The touchdown was set up by 17-yard catch by wide receiver Roger Lewis on 4th-and-3, despite him taking a big hit. 19-0 Giants.

The Jets responded with their only scoring drive of the first half, moving the ball 66 yards in 10 plays to set up a 27-yard field goal. After both teams exchanged punts, wide receiver Travis Rudolph made superb catch and run to pick up 57 yards on a pass from quarterback Josh Johnson. The drive stalled but place kicker Mike Nugent nailed a 50-yard field goal to give the Giants a 22-3 lead. With less than two minutes before halftime, cornerback Donte Deayon intercepted a pass knocked loose from the intended receiver by corner Janoris Jenkins. Deayon returned the pick 36 yards for a touchdown. At the half, the Giants led 29-3.

The Giants’ offensive reserves didn’t do much in the second half. Five drives resulted in three first downs and five punts. The Giants did manage one scoring possession, moving the ball 48 yards to set up a 54-yard field goal by Nugent early in the 4th quarter. But that was it.

Meanwhile, after forcing a turnover on downs at the 14-yard line after giving up a 56 yard drive, the Giants’ defensive reserves allowed three straight touchdowns, including touchdown passes of 25, 85, and 15 yards. The defense did force one punt, but with 2:11 left in the game, the Jets drove 75 yards in seven plays to pull within one point, 32-31. The game was saved for the G-Men as the 2-point conversion that most likely would have given the Jets the victory was stuffed with 1:24 left to play.

Manning finished the game 7-of-14 for 121 yards and one interception. Johnson was 5-of-10 for 51 yards, Geno Smith 4-of-6 for 67 yards, and Davis Webb 2-of-4 for 20 yards. The leading receivers were Rudolph (3 catches for 81 yards), Sterling Shepard (2 catches for 47 yards), Evan Engram (2 catches for 32 yards), and Roger Lewis (2 catches for 30 yards). The leading rushers were Wayne Gallman (12 carries for 43 yards), Paul Perkins (6 carries for 33 yards), and Orleans Darkwa (7 carries for 21 yards).

Aside for the three defensive scores, the defense was credited with three sacks (Jason Pierre-Paul, Darian Thompson, and Jonathan Casillas), five tackles for losses, five quarterback hits, and seven pass defenses.

Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.

INJURY REPORT…
Not playing in the game were WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle), WR Brandon Marshall (shoulder), WR Dwayne Harris (upper body), WR Tavarres King (ankle), LB Keenan Robinson (concussion), LB Mark Herzlich (stinger), and CB Michael Hunter (concussion).

CB Eli Apple (ankle), DT Jay Bromley (knee), OG Adam Gettis (foot), RB Shaun Draughn (concussion/neck), S Duke Ihenacho (knee), and DE Evan Schwan (unknown) all left the game with injuries.

“I think (Apple) did his other ankle today, so I have concerns about both ankles,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “I’m not sure (how bad it is), I’ll have to go talk to the trainers and the doctors about it.”

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Ben McAdoo and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

Aug 242017
 
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Valentino Blake, New York Giants (August 11, 2017)

Valentino Blake – © USA TODAY Sports

ROSTER MOVES…
The New York Giants have placed cornerback Valentino Blake on the Exempt/Left Squad List. To fill that roster spot, the team signed defensive Tim Scott.

“(Blake) is dealing with some personal issues right now,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “We are going to give him some time and space to deal with those.”

The 5’11”, 195-pound Scott was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2015 NFL Draft. He spent time with the Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, and Washington Redskins in 2015, but he did not play in a game and was out of the NFL in 2016.

The Giants signed  Blake as an unrestricted free agent in March 2017. Blake was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2012 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Jaguars (2012), Pittsburgh Steelers (2013-2015), and and Tennessee Titans (2016). In five seasons, Blake has played in 78 regular-season games with 18 starts (16 of which came with the Steelers in 2015 when he was credited with 12 pass break-ups and two interceptions).

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle), wide receiver Brandon Marshall (shoulder), wide receiver Dwayne Harris (upper body), wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion), and cornerback Michael Hunter (concussion).

“(Beckham) is working through some treatment,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “We will see how he responds to it tomorrow.”

Cornerback Eli Apple (ankle), linebacker Mark Herzlich (stinger), and linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) were limited.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Thursday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
There is no media availability to the Giants on Friday. The team plays the New York Jets on Saturday at 7:00PM.

Aug 232017
 
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Marquis Bundy, Arizona Cardinals (August 28, 2017)

Marquis Bundy – © USA TODAY Sports

ROSTER MOVES – VALENTINO BLAKE LEAVES TEAM?…
The New York Giants have waived offensive linemen Michael Bowie and Corin Brooks. They also waived/injured wide receivers Darius Powe (hamstring) and Andrew Turzilli (hamstring).

“We are short on receivers,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “We think highly of Darius. He’s been a good, productive player for us in the offseason and for camp. It is simply a numbers issue at this point.”

To fill those roster spots, the Giants signed guard Matt Rotheram and Richard Levy, and wide receivers Marquis Bundy and C.J. Germany.

Though not officially announced by the team, the NFL transaction wire is also showing that cornerback Valentino Blake has been placed on the Exempt/Left Squad List.

The 6’5”, 325-pound Rotheram was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Green Bay Packers after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Detroit Lions. The Lions waived Rotherman last week.

The 6’6”, 315-pound Levy was originally signed by the San Francisco 49ers as a rookie free agent after the 2017 NFL Draft. The 49ers cut him on earlier this month.

The 6’4”, 215-pound Bundy was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Arizona Cardinals after the 2016 NFL Draft. The Cardinals waived him last week.

The 5’11”, 180-pound Germany was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Los Angeles Rams after the 2017 NFL Draft. The Rams waived him last week.

Michael Bowie was signed by the Giants to a reserve/future contract in January 2017. Bowie was originally drafted in the Seattle Seahawks in the 7th round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played in nine games with eight starts as a rookie. Bowie was waived in August 2014 and claimed by the Cleveland Browns. Bowie had shoulder issues in Cleveland and did not play in a regular-season game. The Browns placed him on the reserve/retired list in August 2016 and cut him in September 2016.

Corin Brooks was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent in August 2017. Brooks was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2017 NFL Draft but waived in June.

The Giants originally signed Powe as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft and he spent his rookie season on the team’s practice squad.

The Giants signed Andrew Turzilli in August 2017. Turzilli was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Tennessee Titans after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Titans (2015), San Francisco 49ers (2015), and Detroit Lions (2016-2017), but he only played in three NFL games. The Lions waived him in May.

The Giants signed  Blake as an unrestricted free agent in March 2017. Blake was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2012 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Jaguars (2012), Pittsburgh Steelers (2013-2015), and and Tennessee Titans (2016). In five seasons, Blake has played in 78 regular-season games with 18 starts (16 of which came with the Steelers in 2015 when he was credited with 12 pass break-ups and two interceptions).

INJURY REPORT…
Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle), wide receiver Brandon Marshall (shoulder), wide receiver Dwayne Harris (upper body), wide receiver Tavarres King (ankle), linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion), cornerback Michael Hunter (concussion), and cornerback Valentino Blake (unknown) did not practice.

“(Beckham has) got an ankle. He is in there getting treatment,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “We are just taking it day by day.”

Cornerback Eli Apple (ankle), linebacker Mark Herzlich (stinger), and linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) were limited.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday at 11:20AM.

Aug 222017
 
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Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (August 21, 2017)

Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports

MONDAY BEN MCADOO CONFERENCE CALL…
New York Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo addressed the media by conference call on Tuesday to discuss the team’s 10-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns:

Opening Statement: I’ll start with the game last night. Defensively – what we did well – we played physical and had some outstanding shots of effort on tape. Look no further than OV’s (Olivier Vernon) example chasing an eligible receiver across the field and breaking the ball up. Great effort there. I thought we were physical in destroying some blocks. B.J. (Goodson) was a good example on a sack. Forced two turnovers. Could have been three. We handled the ebbs and flow of the game. We had three sudden change series on defense and one punt return that left us with a short field. What we need to work on – extracting the ball. We need to be disciplined with our rush lanes especially against an athletic quarterback and eliminate penalties that award first downs on third down.

Offensively – what we did well – 75% win the down on all down and distant passes. Pass protection is making progress and some examples of finish on tape. We have some good examples of finish. What we need to work on – we left a lot of offense on the field. Too many unforced errors. Not one guy. (Inaudible). For us to have a chance, we need all 11 knowing what to do and how to do it. And, it takes everybody to run the ball, not just the offensive line. The receivers have to be better versus slam corners. The tight ends, in line and from the backfield, need to do a better job. They weren’t even close yesterday. The running backs have to take the right footwork at the right pace and of course have to be on point and read their cues. We left some runs on the field yesterday from a running back perspective. And our perimeter, they need to do a better job of taking care of each other on the bubble screens.

Special teams wise – kickoff coverage was a plus. Kickoff return was a push. We need to work on punt coverage, be disciplined and do our job in our lanes. We gave up a big field return and we came back and overcompensated. We were hit up the gut there, came back because of a penalty, though. Punt return – we have to get it started and our vice needs work. It’s not where it needs to be.

Where do we go from here? We have to stick the move this week. We have to get our eyes on Cleveland tape, learn from it and then jump onto the Jets. We have a short week and we have to go out and make some gains. With that, we’ll open it up.

Q: Where do you stand on everything with WR Odell Beckham Jr. and WR Brandon Marshall?

A: Odell has an ankle and we’ll see how he responds to treatment. Brandon has a shoulder and, again, we just have to see how these two guys respond to treatment. We just had them in here for a treatment session and we’ll take it day by day.

Q: Are both WR Odell Beckham Jr. and WR Brandon Marshall getting treatment?

A: Odell had his MRI and he has an ankle.

Q: What’s the concern that WR Odell Beckham Jr. or WR Brandon Marshall’s injuries could be long term?

A: Again, we’ll take it day by day and see how they respond to treatment.

Q: Were the x-rays on WR Brandon Marshall’s shoulder negative?

A: Yes.

Q: Does WR Odell Beckham Jr. have a high ankle or a low ankle?

A: It’s an ankle. We’ll see how he responds to treatment.

Q: What made you decide to play CB Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie at safety for a couple series?

A: When you get into the season, you have to look at a couple different things on the 53 and how many guys you hold at each spot – at the safety spot and at the corner spot. And, the more players you have with versatility, the better. DRC is definitely a guy that’s a smart football player. He’s played a lot of football for us and in this league. Just giving him some experience at safety makes you more flexible and if something happens during the course of the game, you can put him out there and he can help you out in that regard.

Q: How do you think CB Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie did at safety?

A: He did a nice job. He’s been getting a little work at it in practice; I’m surprised you guys haven’t noticed.

Q: How did the interior of the offensive line do last night?

A: I think we had some opportunities to have some runs come out. Again, whether we run the ball well or not, it’s not only the offensive line. Everybody’s included. It takes all 11 to be successful there. But, I thought there were a couple TE games we could have passed off better in pass protection. That will continue to be an emphasis for us. But, I thought there were some opportunities for us to have some runs come out on the interior of the offensive line.

Q: What do you attribute the negative runs to?

A: Again, there’s enough to be spread around. First play, the corner made a tackle. We have to block the corner. We had some tight ends trip up in the backfield. We had a back that was too wide on his course on one. There were plenty to go around. You can’t have that. You need all 11 to have a chance to have a chance and we didn’t have that yesterday early in the game.

Q: How did offensive linemen Brett Jones and D.J. Fluker do in last night’s game?

A: I think they both had solid outings. They both got better, they both improved. Brett is a tremendous communicator out there, he’s a physical player and he had a nice night. Fluker’s a guy that, he’s learning. He’s playing a couple different spots. He’s learning the offense still, he’s working hard through it, he’s a physical football player and when he gets his hands on somebody, he’s a physical man.

Q: Has Fluker earned an opportunity to work with the first team? John Jerry seems to have struggled.

A: We’re going to look at those options and talk through them as the week goes on and see how it shakes out. But we have not lost confidence in [guard] John Jerry or anybody on the offensive line, for that matter.

Q: Are there any updates to any of the other players who got injured last night?

A: Yeah, [wide receiver Tavarres] King, he’s still sore. It was the same ankle [that he had previously injured]. [Cornerback] Michael Hunter is in the concussion protocol. And that’s really all I have right now.

Q: Do you alter your plan for the preseason, as far as playing time, moving forward after losing a couple of key players to injury last night?

A: You have to play, you have to play the game to get better at the game and on offense we definitely need to work, we need it in all three phases, but especially on offense.

Q: Do you expect any of the players that did not play last night due to injury to be back at practice tomorrow?

A: Yeah, we’re taking a look at that right now. Nothing is set in stone at this point, but we look to get a couple guys back, even if it is in limited fashion.

Q: How do you think quarterback Eli Manning did last night in his first preseason action?

A: I thought he had a fairly good showing. A couple throws I think he’d like to have back, but that’s a part of it, especially in preseason, you’re going to miss some throws. I thought he had some clean reads out there. I’d like to see him complete the shallow cross to [wide receiver] Sterling Shepard in the red zone. But, it’s the first outing for him, first outing for a lot of guys out there playing together in a game this season. So, we look to build upon it.

Q: Where do things stand in the backup quarterback competition? Was Geno Smith getting so many snaps last night a sign that he’s ahead?

A: That’s just the way it went last night. We wanted to keep it fairly even, but the way the game broke down, the way the game worked itself out there at the end of the first half and at the beginning of the second half, that’s just the way it went and we’re going to continue to evaluate it. We don’t have a timetable on it and we’ll let those guys keep going, competing.

Q: What is your evaluation of Geno Smith’s play last night?

A: I thought he made some nice throws, made some nice decisions. He completed the ball, we just have to eliminate the critical errors in the ball game.

Q: Where does everything stand with offensive lineman Michael Bowie right now?

A: The other side of the building is still working through the details of it, still trying to get as much information as they can at this point and they’re going to keep me posted as we go.

Q: Do you expect Bowie to practice tomorrow?

A: I don’t expect anything at this point. We’ll see what the information that we gather [is]. I need more information from the other side of the building, they’re working hard right now on trying to get information, get all the details, so we have all the information before any decisions are made.

Q: Is Bowie with the team in the meantime?

A: Today’s a day off.

Q: Would you be open to sitting wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for this week’s preseason game, because you know what he can do? Or would you rather see your entire offense on the field together?

A: Yeah, I know what Odell brings to the table, he’s a tremendous player, one of the best in the league. Tremendous competitor. But if you have a chance to get everyone out there playing together, playing with each other, you do it. If you don’t, you don’t. That’s a medical decision.

Q: How is Beckham feeling today, have you had a chance to talk to him?

A: He’s going through treatment. He got a scan, he’s got an ankle [injury].

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