There was so much promise shown in the New York Giants 35-24 victory over the New York Jets Friday night in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Eli Manning was completing passes and Victor Cruz was catching them. The offense was looking like, well, an offense and second-year pro defensive end Damontre Moore was getting after the quarterback. But with the strides the team took forward, there were two big steps back.
Training camp hero wide receiver Marcus Harris left the game midway through the second quarter and headed to the locker room with a shoulder injury. Shortly after, starting left guard Geoff Schwartz was carted off of the field.
Marcus Harris is down being looked at by trainers after that Donnell penalty. #NYG
— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) August 23, 2014
Schwartz brings his hands to his eyes as he’s carted off the field, shaking his head, grimacing with pain. Doesn’t look good. #Giants
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) August 23, 2014
Tests confirmed some of the Giants’ fears. Harris suffered an injury to the AC joint injury in his shoulder and will be sidelined at least three-to-four weeks. Schwartz dislocated his big toe. Both players will have MRIs tomorrow to determine a more detailed analysis of their injuries. Both players could be out weeks, months, or the season depending on if there is structural damage.
“We got a couple of guys hurt tonight and that’s very upsetting,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.
When asked how serious the injury was to Schwartz, Coughlin responded, “Pretty serious. Hard to play with a toe that’s not functioning.”
“I’m not worried about anything, you just pray about it,” Harris said. “It’s football, injuries occur, you know? It just happened to be me today.”
Harris injured himself on a screen pass, his only reception of the game. After catching the pass, Harris attempted to stiff-arm a defender. When he did, a second defender came in from behind and wrapped him up and brought Harris to the ground. Because his arms were constrained, Harris was unable to brace himself for the hit and landed directly on his shoulder.
The second-year pro was in noticeable pain after the game. He had a brace on his arm and was walking gingerly around the Giants locker room. While Schwartz has his roster spot all but locked up, Harris has been fighting for a position on the Giants final 53-man roster. In a positional group that’s already deep and featuring names such as Corey Washington, Jerrel Jernigan and Preston Parker, Harris’ injury will likely keep him out for the season opener versus the Detroit Lions.
If healthy, Harris would be a logical choice. He can play outside, the slot and special teams. Now? That position is up in the air.
“I think I’ve done enough this summer,” Harris said. “Hopefully (The Giants) feel the same and keep me around.”
While Schwartz is in no jeopardy of getting cut, his injury puts another question mark on an offensive line that is filled with them. In Schwartz’s absence, rookie second-round pick Weston Richburg filled in. If Richburg replaces Schwartz in his absence, which is expected, lining up next to him will be Will Beatty, a player who’s recovering from a fractured leg. To the right? J.D. Walton, a player who hasn’t played in a regular season game in over a year.
Dislocated big toe at MTP joint could mean surgery and IR. Hope that is not the case for Geoff Schwartz @Giants.
— David J. Chao, MD (@ProFootballDoc) August 23, 2014
At right guard is Brandon Mosley, a player with one career start. Next to him? Justin Pugh, a second-year pro who has struggled a bit this preseason.
The questions keep mounting…and the season keeps getting closer.