The preseason comes to end later this week, as the Giants head to New England to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots in a summer tradition that has dated back to 2001.
The Giants know they have some tough roster decisions to make at multiple positions such as defensive end, receiver, kicker, backup quarterback and so forth.
While performance is weighed the most in reaching a decision, sometimes injuries factor into the equation. Among those injured players who are thought to be on the bubble include receiver Tavarres King (ankle) and linebacker Mark Herzlich (stinger).
“It’s tough to say somebody’s safe,” head coach Ben McAdoo said. “In this game, this week will have a big impact on things for a lot of guys. You hate to see somebody lose an opportunity because of an injury, but yet, nobody’s safe.”
In terms of those on the bubble due more as a result of their performance, a good example is tight end Wil Tye, who found himself as a starter the last two seasons, but who has slipped down the depth chart thanks to the strong summers shown by rookie first-rounder Evan Engram and Matt LaCosse.
“I think Will Tye’s responded well,” the coach said. “He had a good day of practice today and that’s all you can do, just keep stacking good days of practice and hopefully it leads to a productive game for him on Thursday. It’s a big game for Tye.”
Linebacker Jonathan Casillas, whose roster spot is secure, feels the pain of those who come Saturday will be out of a NFL job, be it temporarily or for good.
“There’s always some stuff that goes on – cuts happen where the days going on and someone gets pulled out of a meeting – just stuff like that,” he said.
“You hate to see it. It’s part of the game, and I’m not looking forward to it.”
But, he added, it’s a necessary evil.
“At the end of the day, it is a business, and we do have to figure out the right 53 to play for the New York Giants. This fourth game is going to be very important, and we’re going against the New England Patriots. So, we’ve got to strap it up and play your A-game.”
Less than a day after adding cornerback Tay Glover-Wright via waivers from the Eagles, the Giants brought another conerback on board, Daniel Gray.
An undrafted free agent out of Utah State, the 5-10, 190-pound Gray spent most of the summer with Arizona before being released on August 21.
Both Glover-Wright and Gray have been brought in to help shore up the depleted cornerback spot which has seen Eli Apple (ankle) and Michael Hunter (concussion) sidelined after Valentino Blake left the club.
The Giants placed reserve offensive lineman Adam Gettis (foot) on injured reserve.
The status of receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) remains of high interest given the lack of official information shared by the club.
McAdoo’s answer, as it’s been since Beckham suffered an ankle sprain, is that the receiver is “improving.” When asked to elaborate, McAdoo said, “He’s getting treatment, he responds well to treatment and we’ll repeat that process again for tomorrow, so, you don’t have to ask the question.”
McAdoo added he was “hopeful” Beckham could return for tomorrow, but when asked if the receiver would play in Thursday’s game if healthy, McAdoo said Beckham was “day-to-day”.
Receiver Brandon Marshall (shoulder) returned to practice, as did receiver Dwayne Harris (shoulder). Both were limited.
Linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion) and cornerback Michael Hunter (concussion) were on the field, but did not partake in drills. They remain in protocol.
Running back Shaun Draughn, who was initially announced Saturday night as having a concussion, does not have a concusison. He was limited.
Defensive tackle Jay Bromley (knee) did not practice. “Jay’s sore,” McAdoo reported. “We’ll it take it day-by-day right now and see how he responds to treatment.”
Linebacker Mark Herzlich (stinger) was not on the field, his roster status growing more and more omnious.
“Mark has to get healthy right now; that needs to be his focus,” McAdoo said.
Offensive lineman John Jerry took all of the first-team reps at right guard. Jerry was removed from the lineup for Brett Jones on Saturday. Jones, meanwhile, took his normal snaps on the second team, both at guard and his natural position of center.
Defensive tackle Damon Harrison did not practice, but McAdoo assured media it was just a rest day. With Harrison and Bromley out, Dalvin Tomlinson and Robert Thomas took first team reps at defensive tackle.
Quarterback Geno Smith got the first reps on second-team offense.
What He Said
“We’ve been thinking about them for a long time. We’ve been working. Everything’s been building for September 10. Whatever we’ve been doing come April, we’ve been building for September 10. All the preseason games were important, of course, but we’re all building for September 10. So, we’ve not just started with Dallas this week. We’ve been talking about Dallas – what they’re doing and how we think they’re going to attack us. So, we have been thinking about them a lot.”
–LB Jonathan Casillas on if the Giants have been thinking about the Cowboys.
The Giants will practice Tuesday and depart for Foxborough Wednesday.