Less than 24 hours prior to Week 13’s kickoff, the New York Giants made a trio of roster moves. Defensive back Steven Parker was signed off the practice squad while fellow defensive back Jarren Williams and wide receiver/kick returner Pharoh Cooper were each activated from the practice squad.
According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, both Parker and Cooper are in line for “significant roles” against the Miami Dolphins due to numerous injuries across the team’s secondary and receiving corps. Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson has been ruled out for Sunday’s contest due to a quad injury. Second-year nickelback Darnay Holmes was placed on injured reserve earlier this week with a rib injury. Thankfully, the team will be regaining the services of safety Logan Ryan, who is set to return to action after a two-game absence due to COVID-19 protocols.
As far as the receiver position, Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney are both listed as doubtful with quad injuries and are unexpected to play. This will mark Shepard’s seventh missed game of the season. The team’s longest-tenured player, Shepard got off to a blazing hot start this season, averaging 103.5 yards per game over the first two weeks of play. Toney, the team’s leader in targets (48), receptions (35) and yards (392), missed the team’s Week 12 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles and has been relatively hobbled ever since his breakout, 189-yard performance against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5.
Cooper’s Offensive Role is Growing
When the Giants initially added Cooper to the mix in November, the team was hopeful the former Los Angeles Rams Pro Bowler could add a boost to a lacking return game. Thus far he’s mostly delivered. Serving as the team’s primary return specialist, the South Carolina product has returned four kicks for 67 yards while averaging 11.7 yards per punt return — seventh-most in the NFL (minimum three returns).
Yet, due to numerous injuries at wideout, Cooper has seen an uptick in his offensive usage in each game he’s played this season. He’s only hauled in one reception for six yards in his three game appearances. Yet, he saw a 22-snap increase from Week 11 to Week 12, logging a season-high 58% of the team’s offensive snaps against the Eagles — the third-most amongst all Giants receivers.
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Mike Glennon Ready to Roll
The G-Men’s injuries on the offensive side of the football haven’t been restricted to just the receiver position. Quarterback Daniel Jones will miss the Dolphins game due to a neck injury, meaning veteran backup Mike Glennon will make his first start in a Giants uniform.
“I haven’t had a whole lot of opportunities to start in the NFL, so anytime you get one of those opportunities, it’s something that there will be a little nerves,” Glennon told reporters on December 4. “But I think there were nerves when I was a starter for longer. It’s just kind of an excitement to get out there and play again and I’m looking forward to it.”
The 6-foot-7-inch, 31-year-old quarterback has started 27 games throughout his career, most recently with the Jacksonville Jaguars a season ago. During his lone game appearance this season, Glennon completed 16-of-25 passes for 196 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions against the Cowboys.
“Mike worked with Freddie all last week as well,” said head coach Joe Judge. “Everyone’s job is to be prepared, it’s our job to put them in position to go out there and make plays. In terms of Mike, Mike does a great job of being ready every week. He does a great job of that. He’s a true professional, he’s a good teammate, he’s a good leader. In terms of him working with Freddie, yeah, no concern on that.”