SEPTEMBER 6, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT… The New York Giants practiced on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
“Obviously, today is a little bit of a bonus day for us in terms of prep of a normal game week,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “We’ll obviously start prepping some on Denver. There will (also) be a lot of New York Giants stuff we’ve got to focus on. We have a number of new players who have joined our team with the weekend we just had being dead period rules. There’s a lot of guys that haven’t had a lot of experience with things we’re doing, so today is important to get guys caught up vocabulary-wise, just get them on our alphabet, understand what we’re saying going out there, give them a chance going into next weekend to see if they can compete and get into the game.”
CB Aaron Robinson(core muscle) remains on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List. In the limited portion of practice that is open to the media, TE Evan Engram (calf), TE Kaden Smith (unknown), and CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle) did not participate in drills with the rest of the team.
“We’re going to check with the trainers (on Engram),” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “He did some stuff this weekend. Sounds like he’s progressing in the right direction. We’ll see in terms of what his load this week is going to be, we’ll see where he’s going to be as far as practice today. That could be anything from nothing to individuals to see if we can progress past that.”
TEAM CAPTAINS ANNOUNCED… The New York Giants have announced their team captains for the 2021 NFL season:
Offense: QB Daniel Jones, RB Saquon Barkley, OC Nick Gates
Defense: LB Blake Martinez, S Logan Ryan, S Jabrill Peppers
Special Teams: PK Graham Gano
Barkley is a third-year captain; Jones, Martinez, and Peppers were selected for a second season; and Gates, Ryan, and Gano received the honor for the first time.
“To me, the important thing for a captain is they’ve got to set the tone for the team in how they work, how they perform, and also how to put the team first,” Head Coach Joe Judge said. “They have to be the example of the most unselfish players on the team. The other important role for captains in any locker room is they’ve got to be the voice of the team directly to the head coach. So, if there’s an issue, or if there’s something that needs to be addressed, they’ve got to be someone who the team trusts to speak for them on their behalf and make sure that the issue is getting addressed. It’s important that these guys are good players who put the team first, and also have good communication as well and are not afraid to speak their mind.
“They’re players who demonstrate on a daily basis how they put the team first. They’re obviously good players and they’ve earned the respect of their teammates.”
MORE PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES… The New York Giants have signed tight end Ryan Izzo to the Practice Squad and terminated the Practice Squad contract of wide receiver Damion Willis.
The 25-year old, 6’5”, 255-pound Izzo was originally drafted in the 7th-round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Patriots. The Patriots traded him to the Houston Texans in March 2021. The Texans waived him on August 31. Izzo played in 18 regular-season games for the Patriots in 2019-2020, with 16 starts. Izzo has 19 career receptions for 313 yards and one touchdown.
HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’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 inThe Corner Forumand atGiants.com:
AUGUST 25, 2021 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT… Wednesday was the first of two days of joint training camp practices between the New York Giants and New England Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Giants play the Patriots on Sunday in the team’s third and final preseason game.
“Our focus today as a team is to come up here and compete against a quality opponent,” said Head Coach Joe Judge before practice. “The series of practices both today and tomorrow will be very geared towards situation. Situation meaning third down, red area and two-minute. We’ll work some specific drills and setups to make sure we work some techniques on both sides of the ball, offense and defense, for both us and the Patriots to help us address some issues or some areas that maybe we hadn’t had enough work on in camp based on the opponents we’ve worked against or things that haven’t specifically come up in the preseason games as of yet.
“So, we’re going to structure this working together. The pace of the practice will be a working tempo. We’re going to work together. We’re going to stay up, stay off the ground. There’s no cutting. We’re not looking to go ahead and live tackle at any point in any of these drills. There’s going to be guys on both teams at different points in practice wearing red jerseys. We would treat any player with a red jersey the same as we would treat a quarterback, punter, kicker or whatever it is. We’re going to stay off them. It’s going to be a non-contact portion.”
INJURY REPORT – KYLE RUDOLPH ACTIVATED OFF OF THE PUP LIST…
CB Aaron Robinson(core muscle) remains on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List. However, TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) was activated off of the PUP List. He practiced on a limited basis for the first time this year.
RB Saquon Barkley (personal excuse), WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring), WR Kadarius Toney (unknown), WR John Ross (hamstring?), WR Austin Mack (hamstring?), OG Shane Lemieux (knee), NT Danny Shelton (unknown), LB Tae Crowder (unknown), LB Elerson Smith (hamstring), and CB Josh Jackson (calf) did not practice on Wednesday.
OT Nate Solder (shoulder?) and LB Azeez Ojulari (unknown) practiced on a limited basis.
On Solder, Head Coach Joe Judge said, “Nate will be limited in practice today. You’ll see him do some things. He’ll definitely be continuing to do the individual with the group. He’ll do a little bit against the Patriots in some team drills. Really, it’s going to be kind of based on ramping him back up from missing some time right now.”
On Ojulari, Judge said, “We’re going to increase him today and tomorrow we expect him to be full speed. We’ll see where he goes with that. But this guy, we’re just kind of managing some loads with him right now.”
CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle sprain) left practice early. He will undergo tests to determine the severity of the injury.
PRACTICE NOTES… Some snippets from various media sources:
Overall, Patriots out-practiced the Giants on both offense and defense.
Offensively, Giants worked some on the read-option.
LT Andrew Thomas impressed in 1-on-1 drills.
In 7-on-7, goal-line drills from the 6-yard line, QB Daniel Jones was 3-of-5 with two touchdowns, two to TE Evan Engram and one to TE Kaden Smith. One pass was thrown away due to good coverage.
During 1-on-1 offensive line versus defensive line drills, there was a big fight and both groups were forced to run a lap.
LB Blake Martinez had trouble covering RB James White in 1-on-1 drills.
S Julian Love dropped an interception from QB Mac Jones. S Xavier McKinney almost intercepted Jones on a pass on a play where he provided excellent deep coverage.
S Kyle Duggar intercepted a pass thrown into double coverage from QB Daniel Jones that was intended for WR Darius Slayton.
In 2-minute drills, the first-team offense of the Patriots successfully set up a field goal after QB Mac Jones was 5-of-5. CB Darnay Holmes gave up one completion and was flagged with pass interference. RB James White also beat LB Blake Martinez.
In the 2-minute drill, QB Daniel Jones was 3-of-6 with two short completions to WR Darius Slayton and one to WR C.J. Board. TEs Nakie Griffin-Stewart and Jake Hausmann dropped passes. PK Graham Gano connected on a 54-yard field goal.
LB Lorenzo Carter flashed on the pass rush with two “sacks.”
QB Mac Jones had no problem completing passes in 11-on-11, full-team drills against the New York secondary.
LB Ifeadi Odenigbo “sacked” QB Mac Jones on a play where the ball was tipped.
The Giants’ first-team offensive line gave QB Daniel Jones good protection in 11-on-11 drills.
In full-team, red-zone drills, QB Daniel Jones threw three touchdowns, one went to WR Sterling Shepard and another to TE Jake Hausmann on rollouts to the right.
QB Mac Jones threw an excellent deep pass beating both CB Adoree’ Jackson and CB Darnay Holmes for the touchdown on a corner route.
For a good in-person review of the action, see Wednesday’s camp report from BBI poster “mittenedman.”
Giants.com also provided a camp report on today’s practice.
HEAD COACH JOE JUDGE…
The transcript of Joe Judge’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 inThe Corner Forumand atGiants.com:
On Wednesday, New York Giants rookies reported early to summer training camp at the team’s facilities in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Quarterbacks, first-year players, and rehabbing injured players reported on Thursday. The bulk of the team reports next Tuesday with the first summer training camp practice being held on Wednesday.
With the first practice fast approaching, the Giants made 10 roster transactions on Thursday:
WR Kadarius Toney was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. Toney is currently in COVID protocols and participating in team meetings remotely.
RB Saquon Barkley (knee), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), RT Matt Peart (back), OC Jonotthan Harrison (hamstring), LB Oshane Ximines (hamstring), and CB Aaron Robinson (core muscle) were placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List. Players on the Active/PUP list can be activated at any time during training camp. If they are still on the list at the final roster cutdown to 53, they must either be activated or moved to the Reserve/PUP list. Players on the Reserve/PUP list must be inactive for the first six weeks of the season.
LB Ryan Anderson (back) and RB Sandro Platzgummer (hamstring) were placed on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) List. They can can return to practice when they are medically cleared.
RB Taquan Mizzell (hamstring) was placed on Injured Reserve.
Teams were officially able to begin negotiating with free agents from other teams on March 15. So although it seems as if free agency has been going on for quite some time, we’re only still at the 2-week mark since it began. More signings will continue through the spring and summer, especially as players are cut. That said, the initial free agency rush is over and we can start to make some snap opinions on what the New York Giants have and have not accomplished.
QUARTERBACKS (Previous Need Level – Medium): For at least one more season, Daniel Jones is the unquestioned starter. The expectation was that the team would re-sign Colt McCoy. However, the Giants surprisingly went in another direction by signing the well-traveled Mike Glennon as Jones’ back-up. Glennon is much bigger (half a foot taller) than McCoy with a much stronger arm. Both complete around 61 percent of their passes and both have started roughly the same number of NFL games. There were media whispers too that McCoy wanted more money than the Giants were willing to pay. On the surface, this appears to be a wash, although the coaches said McCoy was a very good influence on Jones in the meeting rooms. (Mike Glennon YouTube Highlights)
RUNNING BACKS (Previous Need Level – High to Desperate): Some chided my prediction that all three running backs behind Saquon Barkley may not return in 2021, but that appears in fact to be the case. As of this moment, Wayne Gallman, Alfred Morris, and Dion Lewis remain unsigned. So much of the team’s upcoming success will depend on how well Barkley returns from a major knee injury and whether he can stay healthy for a full season. It’s quite telling that the very first player the Giants signed in free agency was the relatively-unknown Devontae Booker to a 2-year, $5.5 million contract. Fan reaction was immediately negative. But it appears the coaching staff simply wanted a veteran back who was a more reliable blocker and receiver than Gallman. Depth behind Barkley still remains shaky as the only other halfbacks on the roster are NFL cast-offs Taquan Mizzell and Jordan Chunn. The Giants also added another fullback/special teams player in Cullen Gillaspia to compete with Eli Penny. (Devontae Booker YouTube Highlights)
WIDE RECEIVERS (Previous Need Level – Desperate): The Giants have significantly upgraded this position with the addition of one player to the tune of a 4-year, $72 million contract. Kenny Golladay is not only a true #1 receiver, but he fills a desperate need that this team had for a physical receiver with size. His presence also allows Darius Slayton to become the #2 and Sterling Shepard the slot receiver, roles that both are far better suited for. From Golladay’s style of play to the team’s extended wooing period to satisfy personality issues, this signing is highly reminiscent of the Giants’ signing of Plaxico Burress in 2005. And Golladay is quite capable of having a Plaxico-type impact on this team. In addition, before the Giants signed Golladay, they signed the 9th overall player taken in the 2017 NFL Draft, John Ross. While Ross did not live up to expectations in Cincinnati, he brings true deep speed to a team that desperately needs it. It would not be shocking to see Ross get cut, but it also would not be shocking for him to press for a starting job opposite of Golladay. In addition to wanting to prove doubters wrong, Ross will rejoin his old college receiving teammate, Dante Pettis, on what had been an explosive University of Washington receiving corps. Overall, the make-up of this unit is far different now than it was just two weeks ago. (John Ross YouTube Highlights)
TIGHT ENDS (Previous Need Level – Desperate): Right or wrong, the front office and coaching staff appear willing to continue to hope Evan Engram develops into the player hoped for when he was drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft. But the team decided to team him with a mentor. Kyle Rudolph has been one of the NFL’s best tight ends for the past 10 years. While not an explosive player, he can catch and block. Just as importantly, he is reliable, something Engram is not. The downside is that Rudolph turns 32 in November and is coming off a foot injury (The Athletic is reporting it is a Lisfranc injury) that required surgery AFTER the Giants signed him. Much depends on how well he recovers. On paper, if he is healthy, this looks like a major addition both in terms of helping out Daniel Jones and the offensive line. (Kyle Rudolph YouTube Highlights)
OFFENSIVE LINE (Previous Need Level – Medium): This is one area where it is debatable if the team has improved in free agency. The Giants were able to force Nate Solder to take a big pay cut to remain with the team. He will now compete against Matt Peart for the starting tackle spot opposite of Andrew Thomas. The Giants somewhat surprisingly simply cut Kevin Zeitler without approaching him about a pay cut. To fill that void, they signed right guard Zach Fulton, who had an inconsistent stay with the Houston Texans. Fulton will compete with Will Hernandez and Shane Lemieux for a starting spot. Fulton does not feel like an upgrade over Zeitler. Where the team probably did get better is at back-up center with the signing of Jonotthan Harrison back in January. He is a better player than Spencer Pulley. Look for the team to continue to address the offensive line in the upcoming draft.
DEFENSIVE LINE (Previous Need Level – Low to High Depending on Tomlinson): Undoubtedly, the biggest loss the team suffered in free agency was losing nose tackle Davlin Tomlinson to the Minnesota Vikings for what appeared to be a reasonable 2-year, $22 million contract. The Giants re-signed back-up nose tackle Austin Johnson to a 1-year, $3 million deal in anticipation of the loss. Johnson will now have to start at nose tackle or the team will be forced to move Dexter Lawrence from end, or sign a veteran or draft a player. Moving Lawrence seems like an obvious option, but that would have a domino effect in that B.J. Hill would probably then become the new starter at end opposite of Leonard Williams. Thus, what had been a somewhat shaky depth situation becomes even more dubious. The team was extremely fortunate in 2020 that no one got hurt up front. The only back-ups on the roster right now are R.J. McIntosh, David Moa, and Breeland Speaks, the latter signed by the Giants in January. Speaking of Williams, the Giants were able to re-sign him to a 3-year, $63 million deal. There will be tremendous pressure on him to live up to that contract.
(Late Note: The Giants signed 6’2”, 335-pound nose tackle Danny Shelton today. Drafted in the 1st round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, Shelton was cut by the Detroit Lions and will help fill the void created by the departure of Tomlinson).
LINEBACKERS (Previous Need Level – High): On paper, the Giants lost one free agent (Kyler Fackrell) and signed three (Ifeadi Odenigbo, Reggie Ragland, Ryan Anderson). All three newcomers were relatively inexpensive, 1-year deals. Ragland will likely compete with Tae Crowder for the inside linebacker spot next to Blake Martinez. He has started 38 regular-season games in the NFL and is a former 2nd-round pick so he has a good shot to win that job. Anderson is another former 2nd-round pick who was stuck behind a plethora of outstanding outside linebackers in Washington. He is known more as an overachiever who saw most of his playing time on special teams, but he could surprise as his competition will be Lorenzo Carter (coming off of a torn Achilles), Oshane Ximines (coming off of shoulder surgery), and last year’s rookies (Carter Coughlin, Cam Brown, Niko Lalos). What about Odenigbo? Good question. He was the first defensive player the Giants signed in free agency. He played exclusively on the defensive line in Minnesota, primarily at end, but also shifting inside in pass-rush packages. However, his lack of size (6’3”, 258 pounds) strongly suggests he will be used like “linebacker” Jabaal Sheard was used by the Giants last year, that is, an edge rusher in 4-man pass rush packages. The Giants could also push him inside like the Vikings did in obvious passing situations in 4-man fronts. It is doubtful that he should be considered a true outside linebacker because he simply does not have experience dropping into coverage. Because of that, one could actually argue he should be included in the defensive line review. Also, the Giants did re-sign inside linebacker Devonta Downs, who started at inside linebacker for the Giants in 2020 until Tae Crowder beat him out. He will have to fight just to make the team however.
CORNERBACKS (Previous Need Level – Desperate): Like the wide receiving position, the make-up of this position completely changed with the addition of one free agent, adding Adoree’ Jackson to a 3-year, $39 million contract after he was cut by the Tennessee Titans. Opinions on his play vary, but Jackson is clearly a major upgrade over everyone else on the team’s roster with the exception of Pro Bowler James Bradberry. The former 1st rounder is a physical and aggressive press corner who plays with a lot of confidence. Depth is still a concern, but on paper, the Giants now look like they have one of the better secondaries in the NFL as long as Darnay Holmes continues to develop at slot corner.
SAFETIES (Previous Need Level – Low): While Adrian Colbert and Nate Ebner remain unsigned, the Giants still look to be in decent shape at this position with Jabrill Peppers, Xavier McKinney, Logan Ryan, and Julian Love – the latter two who can also play corner. Depth will be added later in free agency or the draft.
KICKERS/LONG SNAPPER (Previous Need Level – Low to Average Depending on Kreiter): When the Giants re-signed long snapper Casey Kreiter, this position was largely settled other than camp bodies. The only real question is are the Giants looking to upgrade at punter at some point.
SUMMARY: In my March 12th article, I argued this roster was a train wreck. Two weeks later, with the addition of 11 free agents and counting, it feels vastly different. It’s not just the quantity, but the quality. Keeping Leonard Williams was a big deal. Kenny Golladay and Adoree’ Jackson were two of the best, if not the very best, players available at desperate need positions. If healthy, Kyle Rudolph could be a major addition as a security blanket for both Daniel Jones and the offensive line. Golladay and Jackson will start. Rudolph will be a quasi-starter. John Ross (1st rounder), Reggie Ragland (2nd rounder), Ryan Anderson (2nd rounder), and Zach Fulton might start. Devontae Booker is now the primary back-up behind Saquon Barkely, Ifeadi Odenigbo will add to the pass rush.
The risk? The money. While most of the deals were relatively cheap, the team did dole out $174 million on three players – Leonard Williams, Kenny Golladay, and Adoree’ Jackson. If they are wrong about any of these three, the team will be paying for it for years. We’ve seen that before and it’s one of the major reasons why the Giants have been mired in the basement of the NFL for a decade. One could also argue that the team should have allocated its resources a bit differently in order to keep Dalvin Tomlinson, extending his contract even last year.
KYLE RUDOLPH TO HAVE FOOT SURGERY…
Although free agent tight end Kyle Rudolph officially signed his contract today, multiple media outlets are reporting there was a delay in doing so because the New York Giants were concerned about a foot injury he suffered last year with the Minnesota Vikings. Rudolph reportedly took his physical yesterday and the team’s medical staff believes Rudolph needs surgery on his foot. The NFL Network initially reported that both sides were discussing how best to proceed, but based on the team’s press release, Rudolph will undergo foot surgery.
“It was certainly an interesting 24 hours,” said Rudolph. “One that was unexpected… It’s kind of a blessing that we’re able to find this issue. It was an issue from the season, we can fix it in March, and I won’t miss any football. I’m extremely excited to be a New York Giant and I feel like it’s a blessing that I’m able to deal with it now in March and not be a New York Giant and something that we deal with during the season. Like anything in life, I attack it head-on and I’ll attack this rehab process head-on and I look forward to being out there with my teammates when we start playing football…this is 100 percent what happened during the season that caused me to miss the last four games of the season. Everyone expected it to heal on its own and it didn’t. It needs to be fixed and like I said, I’m just extremely grateful for the Giants’ medical staff, Dr. Rodeo, everyone that was involved in the process. I’m excited to get it fixed and move past it.”
Rudolph was cut by the Vikings early this month. The Giants and Rudolph agreed to terms to a 2-year, $12 million contract that includes $4.5 million in guaranteed money last week. The NFL Network is reporting that the deal was not altered based on the injury situation.
GIANTS RE-SIGN DEVANTE DOWNS…
The New York Giants have re-signed unrestricted free agent inside linebacker Devante Downs, who the team chose not to tender as a restricted free agent. Terms of the deal are not yet known.
Downs began the 2020 season as a starter, but saw his playing time give way to Tae Crowder. Downs played in all 16 games with eight starts (21 percent of all defensive snaps). He finished the season with 33 tackles, one pass defense, and one fumble recovery.
The 6’2”, 252-pound Downs was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings waived him in late September 2019 and he was then signed by the Giants to their Practice Squad and 53-man roster in October 2019. Downs played in seven games for the Giants in 2019 on special teams.
GIANTS RESTRUCTURE CONTRACTS OF JAMES BRADBERRY AND BLAKE MARTINEZ…
In order to create more immediate cap space to pay for the team’s current free agent spending spree, the New York Giants and cornerback James Bradberry and linebacker Blake Martinez have agreed to restructured contracts. According to ESPN:
Bradberry had $8 million of his base salary converted into a signing bonus, creating $4 million in additional cap space.
Martinez had $7 million of his base salary converted into a signing bonus, creating $3.5 million in additional cap space.
The $7.5 million “saved” will now be tacked onto the 2022 NFL salary cap.
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:
GIANTS SIGN MIKE GLENNON…
Multiple media outlets are reporting that the New York Giants have signed unrestricted free agent quarterback Mike Glennon (Jacksonville Jaguars). Terms of the deal are not yet known.
The 31-year old, 6’7”, 225-pound Glennon was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The well-traveled Glennon has spent time with the Buccaneers (2013-2016), Chicago Bears (2017), Arizona Cardinals (2018), Oakland Raiders (2019), and Jacksonville Jaguars (2020). He has played in 34 regular-season games with 27 starts, completing 61 percent of his passes for 6,235 yards, 43 touchdowns, and 25 interceptions. Glennon is only 6-21 as starter however. With the Jaguars in 2020, he started five games, completing 111-of-179 passes (62 percent) for 1,072 yards, seven touchdowns, and five interceptions.
GIANTS SIGN KYLE RUDOLPH…
Multiple media outlets are reporting that the New York Giants have signed free agent tight end Kyle Rudolph, who was cut earlier this month by the Minnesota Vikings. The New York Post and SNY are say the contract is a 2-year deal worth up to $14 million.
The 31-year old, 6’6”, 265-pound Rudolph was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Vikings. In 10 seasons with the Vikings, Rudolph has played in 140 regular-season games with 132 starts, catching 453 passes for 4,488 yards and 48 touchdowns. He was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2012 and 2017. Last year in 2020, Rudolph missed the last four games of the season with a foot injury but started 12 games, catching just 28 passes for 334 yards and one touchdown.
LEONARD WILLIAMS ADDRESSES THE MEDIA…
Defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who just signed a new 3-year, $63 million contract with the Giants, addressed the media on Thursday. The transcript of his press conference is available in The Corner Forum.