The New York Giants have been getting healthier during the bye week and one piece who could return for their Monday night matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 22, serves as a vital key to protecting quarterback Daniel Jones against a feared pass rush.
On Wednesday, November 17, the Giants announced that left tackle Andrew Thomas has been designated to return to practice.
So, does this mean Thomas will have enough time to ramp up for the Giants’ contest with the Bucs’ in five days? Time will tell.
The Giants now have a three week period to either activate Thomas to the 53-man roster, or place him on season-ending I.R. for the remainder of the year.
Thomas has dealt with foot and ankle injuries, which have limited him to making just five starts this season. But prior to enduring these health issues, Thomas looked to have taken a big step in his development by not allowing a sack this year.
Unfortunately, Thomas’ designation to return to the practice field does not guarantee that he will be able to play on Monday night. In fact, Giants beat reporter Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com went as far as to say he’d be “surprised” if Thomas was active this week.
As a result, struggling offensive tackles Nate Solder and Matt Peart will be left to defend a strong pass rushing group that the Bucs’ deploy, which includes former Giant Jason Pierre-Paul.
Thomas has been on I.R. since after Week 6, which caused him to miss the last three games at a minimum.
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Barkley Getting Close
Although Thomas appears to need more time before getting back into game action, superstar running back Saquon Barkley is getting close to making his return.
According to head coach Joe Judge, the Giants’ staff is “very encouraged” with what they’ve seen out of Barkley since he came back to practice on November 15.
“We’re very encouraged. He’ll be out here today for both of our sessions,” Judge told reporters prior to Wednesday’s practice. “We’ll see how he progresses with the team throughout the week of practice. That will obviously give us the answer we need as far as him going into the game.”
With the emergence of backup tailback Devontae Booker, who rushed for 99 yards on 21 carries in the Giants’ last game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Judge hinted that both running backs could split time in the backfield.
But as far as Barkley having a pitch count is concerned, Judge says he doesn’t believe in predetermining the amount of snaps someone will play before a game.
Barkley had a chance to return from his lower ankle sprain in Week 9, but after receiving a false positive COVID test result, he did not have enough time to build up for their next game.
Barkley has not played since exiting the Giants’ Week 5 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys on October 10.
It’s no secret that Daniel Jones is looking to snap his winless streak in primetime action this week on Monday Night Football.
Since entering the league in 2019, Jones is 0-7 in primetime games. He is 0-2 during such contests this season as well.
But to take things a step further, as Newsday’s Tom Rock was kind enough to do, Jones is 0-4 in national games beginning at 4:25 p.m. EST. in his career too.
“Each game’s a different opportunity, so we look to prepare for this one,” Jones said to reporters on Wednesday.
Now, as the 3-6 Giants gear up to make a run at a Wild Card spot in the NFC during the second half of the season, they have a tough task ahead of them against the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jones will be looking to get his first career win in a primetime game, and he is hoping to have his running back with him in Barkley, and possibly his blindside protector in Thomas.