Giants Waive Injured Quarterback After Poor Preseason Debut

Giants release QB Clayton Thorson

Getty Clayton Thorson #17 of the New York Giants avoids a sack during the fourth quarter of a preseason game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

The signing of Brian Lewerke isn’t the only roster move the New York Giants have decided to make at the quarterback position. The team announced that Clayton Thorson has been waived with an injury designation following a concussion sustained in Big Blue’s preseason opener against the New York Jets on August 14.

Thorson, 26, sustained the injury on the Giants’ final offensive play of the night. With 1:39 remaining in regulation, the Northwestern product was helped off the field by the team’s medical staff after being sacked in the end zone for a safety by Jets defensive linemen Jonathan Marshall and Hamilcar Rashed.

The injury wrapped up a forgettable night for not only Thorson but the Giants offense as a whole. The entire unit mustered up a mere 163 yards from scrimmage and was outgained by the Jets through the air 235-to-93. Thorson finished the game with 72 yards and one touchdown on 5-of-16 passing.

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Judge Saw ‘Some Bright Spots’ From Thorson

Despite the limited production, head coach Joe Judge had some positives to say about Thorson’s performance when evaluating the preseason loss to Gang Green.

“Well, I thought as a whole unit, we started slow,” Judge told reporters. “I saw some bright spots. I thought Clayton did some good things as far as extending plays. I’ll take a look. He made completions with open guys, did a nice job extending the one play, throwing the touchdown. There’s some other opportunities to take advantage of. In terms of Mike [Glennon], I thought the function of the offense was smooth with him overall, but we have to play better as a group.”

A former fifth-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles, Thorson has yet to appear in an NFL regular-season game. He was originally signed to the Giants’ practice squad in late September of last year. The move reunited him with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, who served as his head coach with the Dallas Cowboys the season prior. Thorson was elevated to New York’s active roster from Week 13 through Week 15 as an insurance policy due to starter Daniel Jones dealing with a slew of injuries

Can Lewerke Be the Developmental QB NY Has Been Searching For?

In the late 2010s, in back-to-back drafts, the Giants came away with two mid-round quarterbacks — 2017 third-round selection Davis Webb and 2018 fourth-round selection Kyle Lauletta. Yet, despite Webb once being lauded as the heir apparent to franchise legend Eli Manning and Lauletta being likened to a capable starter in Jimmy Garappolo, both players were kicked to the curb by 2019. In return, the Giants somehow found themselves with Thorson as their developmental signal-caller.

However, with Thorson waived, Webb trying to earn a roster spot in Buffalo and Lauletta turning heads in his preseason debut with Cleveland, Lewerke looks next up to bat. Of course, the former Michigan State standout could be nothing more than a camp arm. Then again, his traits — especially his mobility (1,255 rushing yards with the Spartans) — could give him a fighter’s chance at a roster spot, or at the very least a place on the team’s practice squad.

Lewerke, 6-foot-3 and 216 pounds, spent last year’s training camp with the New England Patriots. In four seasons at Michigan State, he appeared in 41 games (38 starts), finishing as the school’s all-time leader in total offense with 9,548 yards from scrimmage.


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