The New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 23-21 in the teams’ first preseason game of 2022, and head coach Brian Daboll nabbed his first head coaching victory. But along the way, the Giants suffered injuries.
Projected starting left guard Shane Lemieux sustained a toe injury during the first quarter and did not return to the game. The 25-year-old was seen in a walking boot on the sidelines. Rookie guard Josh Ezeudu filled in at left guard.
Offensive lineman Jamil Douglas also left the game early with an ankle injury. Then, rookie cornerback Cor’Dale Flott suffered a groin injury in the fourth quarter and didn’t return.
Douglas’ and Lemieux’s injuries were just the latest to decimate the Giants’ offensive line.
On August 6, rookie lineman Marcus McKethan was placed on the reserve/injured list after tearing his ACL during the team’s Fan Fest scrimmage on August 5 at MetLife Stadium. McKethan will miss the entire season. New York also lost Matt Gono, who is expected to retire due to a neck injury, according to an August 4 ESPN report.
Lemieux’s Rough Start to Career
In 2021, Lemieux was out after Week 1, placed on injured reserve after aggravating a knee injury. After only playing 17 snaps, Lemieux underwent season-ending surgery to repair his left knee’s patella tendon. Nick Gates joined Lemieux as the second Giants offensive lineman to be announced out for the season.
Fast-forward to 2022, and he opened the preseason as the team’s starting left guard.
How Did Giants Starters Play?
Despite getting the victory, the Giants had their ups and downs. Most of the starters on both sides of the ball for the Giants played in the first quarter.
Quarterback Daniel Jones looked crisp in the first drive, connecting with Collin Johnson twice for 30 yards. Saquon Barkley had his moments, notching 21 yards combined on the ground and in the passing game. On the other hand, Kenny Golladay had a key drop near the goal line that could’ve been a touchdown. First-round rookie offensive lineman Evan Neal allowed one sack.
Defensively, cornerback Aaron Robinson had a game he would like to not remember. On the first drive, Robinson was beaten twice in a row, was called for a questionable taunting flag and gave up a touchdown to second-round pick Tyquan Thornton. He was targeted five times in the same drive. Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer threw five completions in eight attempts for 59 yards and one touchdown.
The Giants’ rushing attack was the theme of their offense. New York finished with 177 rushing yards on 33 attempts. The Patriots’ underthrown deep balls led to large gains because the cornerbacks’ backs were turned.
First-round rookie edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux caused a false start on the Patriots’ offensive line.
While Thibodeaux likes the result, he expects even more out of himself in the future.
“I would take it as, you know, I’m winning in the mental game because I know that I have a jump on that offensive tackle mentally. … I still have a lot of growing to do,” Thibodeaux said.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor didn’t look like a backup. He completed 11 of his first 13 passes and finished 13 for 21 for 129 yards and one touchdown. The veteran also led an 11-play, 86-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter.