As we approach the weekend, it’s appearing more and more likely that an ankle injury will keep starting running back Devonta Freeman from taking the field on Monday night. In fact, Zack Rosenblatt of The Newark Star-Ledger “would be surprised” if Freeman played against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8 after not practicing on Friday.
No Freeman will likely mean that Wayne Gallman will inherit the bulk of the workload in Big Blue’s backfield come kickoff. Dion Lewis will also continue to be sprinkled in from time to time. With that said, Freeman’s injury may also ultimately pave the way for veteran running back Alfred Morris to catapult himself from practice squad occupant to active roster.
Giants Protect Alfred Morris From Signing Elsewhere
Due to new practice squad rules, teams are allowed to protect four players every week from being signed to another team until they’ve played that week’s game. This is exactly what the Giants chose to do with Morris, essentially enlisting the veteran as an insurance policy to their banged-up backfield. Morris was joined by punter Ryan Santoso, guard Chade Slade and quarterback Clayton Thorson as the four players of whom New York opted to protect heading into Week 8.
Morris is far from your typical practice squad player. However as we touched on above, the NFL implemented new practice squad rules this season, including the addition of veterans. A two-time Pro Bowler and three-time 1,000-plus yard rusher, the ex-FAU standout is likely past his prime at 31-years-old. Still, for a team that ranks just 27th in rushing offense this season and whose leading rusher is their quarterback (Daniel Jones – 296 yards), the Giants don’t have much room to be picky.
Whether Morris makes his Giants debut or not on Monday, the team will have their hands full trying to muster up yardage on the ground. The Buccaneers currently own the stoutest run defense in football, allowing a league-low 66.0 ypg.
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In Other Giants News
ESPN’s Jordan Raanan has reported that offensive linemen Andrew Thomas, Cam Fleming, Nick Gats, Shane Lemieux and Spencer Pulley were full participants at practice on Friday. This comes on the heels of the group missing Thursday’s session for being in close contact with guard Will Hernandez, who recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Safety Adrian Colbert (shoulder), cornerback Darnay Holmes (neck) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (shoulder/toe) were limited practice participants, per New York Post’s Paul Schwartz.
The most welcoming addition to the practice field was wide receiver C.J. Board. After working on the sidelines in uniform on Thursday, the wideout was listed as a full participant on Friday.
Board, of course, was immobilized and rushed to a local hospital after suffering a devastating hit back in Week 6 against The Washington Football Team, sustaining a concussion and a sprained neck.
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