In the first practice since Sunday’s game against the Colts, the Giants were dealing with a handful of injuries and a bunch of moving pieces on the offensive line. Let’s dive right in:
Both [WR] Victor Cruz (heel) and [C] David Baas (knee) left the game early on Sunday to get x-rays, which were negative. They were both in crutches today; Cruz sported a walking boot, and Baas had a knee wrap. Cruz is very optimistic that he’ll be back for the season opener in Dallas, and even thinks he will be back practicing before that. We’ll wait and see when the crutches + boot come off before we get our hopes up. Baas thinks it’s reasonable to believe he’ll be ready for the opener, but that seems like more of a long-shot. I’d think his sprained MCL would keep him out at least a few weeks, but Baas is known for being able to play through all sorts of injuries.
With the starting [C] out, the first team O-Line went: [LT] Will Beatty + [LG] David Diehl + [C] Kevin Boothe + [RG] Chris Snee + [RT] Justin Pugh. So Boothe slid to center to cover Baas, Diehl went over to left guard, and rookie first rounder Pugh gets his shot at right tackle. Diehl had a cast on his right hand today, reportedly dealing with a thumb injury that won’t keep him out. He really struggled against the Colts’ starters, which could be another reason why he was moved inside to [LG] while Pugh takes up [RT]. The implications involved in this new look: 1) Trust in our rookie Pugh, who looked good on Sunday… 2) Preference of Boothe at [C] as opposed to Jim Cordle, who stepped up after Baas was injured… 3) Lack of faith in Diehl at tackle, which should become permanent as Pugh proves himself at [RT].
On the defensive front, [DE] Justin Tuck practiced despite dealing with a hamstring after Sunday’s game. Damontre Moore still hasn’t returned to practice with a shoulder contusion suffered in his excellent week 1 performance. His absence is more troubling than I want to admit, but if he is able to contribute during the regular season then this missed time is rendered meaningless. [DE] Adrian Tracy was carted off in the middle of practice today, supposedly due to dehydration. [MLB] Dan Connor continues to work as the starter, and it would seem that he’s beaten out Herzlich for that job. Even though Herzlich looked great in OTAs and training camp, once the games started the veteran Connor took the lead.
In the secondary, [CB] Corey Webster and [FS] Antrel Rolle did not practice, but worked along the sideline. Rolle was moving around very well and looked healthy despite a big scare with his ankle last week. [S] Cooper Taylor (hamstring) returned to practice after missing the majority of preseason thus far. He will need to catch up quick if he is going to make the final roster. The secondary had a bad outing against the Colts (particularly Aaron Ross), so watch for them to rebound as the starters work their way back.
2 in/out swaps among the [WR]s… IN: Jerrel Jernigan, Brandon Collins. OUT: Louis Murphy (leg), Ramses Barden (sore knee). As we already know, Nicks is back in and Cruz is now out. Barden and Jernigan have been battling to be the 5th receiver, so missing any time will certainly hurt the big guy (although Jernigan had a bad drop today).
- [DE] Jason Pierre-Paul and [FB] Henry Hynoski are due to come off the active/PUP before the season starts, meaning they shouldn’t miss the first 6 weeks on the inactive/PUP. As of now, [DT] Markus Kuhn looks like he will stay on, and that could mean we won’t see him this season.
- NYG waive/injured 2 players — [WR] Keith Carlos and [OL] Chris DeGeare, who had been battling injuries during the preseason. Keep an eye out for any signings to fill the roster spots.
- [RB] Da’Rel Scott is still sitting out with a shoulder injury, while rookie Michael Cox had a strong outing on Sunday. Torain, Cox, and Scott are vying for 1 or 2 roster spots, meaning Scott’s chances of making the team are dwindling by the day.