New York Giants defensive tackle Leonard Williams suffered a knee injury in the third quarter during the team’s victory over the Carolina Panthers and didn’t return to the game.
After the game, Williams had a brace on his right knee and told reporters that he doesn’t believe his knee injury will be “too bad.” The defensive co-captain had his legs taken out from under him by offensive tackle Taylor Moton, who had been pushed into Williams by Giants linebacker Jihad Ward.
Williams has 18 sacks during his two full seasons with the Giants. The former New York Jets first-round pick has missed just one game in his eight-season career. He played the last six games of 2021 with a triceps injury.
Head coach Brian Daboll had no update on Williams and that they’ll know more tomorrow.
It’s likely that Williams will undergo further testing on his knee to determine if he has to miss any time moving forward.
Even with Williams down, defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale” turned the pass-rush up a notch.
Still, edge defender Oshane Ximines knows how much of a loss Williams is, no matter how good the defense was without him.
“Leo, that’s our leader,” Ximines said after the game. “We saw what he’s done over the last three years. His game speaks for himself. He’s a big part of this defense. When he went down, we just tried to pick it up even more and just fight, because that’s all we have to do to win.”
New York already had played their first two games without edge defenders Azeez Ojulari and Kaybon Thibodeaux. They were also without Aaron Robinson Sunday after the starting cornerback had his appendix removed on Wednesday.
Reporter Gives Positive Update
According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, a Giants source was optimistic about Williams’ injury.
There’s hope within the Giants’ organization that Williams escaped a significant injury.
It’ll be important to get Williams back as he had a team defensive-high 83.4 Pro Football Focus grade on Sunday. He was followed by cornerbacks Darnay Holmes (77.2), Fabian Moreau (69.5) and Adoree’ Jackson (67.2).
Working Progress for Offense
When you’re 2-0, there won’t be alarm bells going off for any deficiencies.
But the Giants still know that their offense should be better. New York totaled 60 offensive yards on 26 offensive plays in the first half. They were 1-for-7 on third down and averaged just 3.9 yards per pass attempt in that span.
The offense came alive on their second drive of the third quarter as they scored a touchdown. But that would be their first and only touchdown.
Daniel Jones understands the Giants have to get better in offensive areas.
“We made enough plays to win the game and that’s something to build off of and we’ll celebrate it tonight,” Jones said. “But going forward, we’re going to look to clean it up and see how we can be better. I think it’s always more fun to win, you can build some confidence off that, but there is certainly a lot we’ll work on.”
The Giants’ offensive line did take a step back. The lowest-graded Giants on offense were offensive linemen Mark Glowinski (50.2), Jon Feliciano (39.9) and Joshua Ezeudu (22.3).
However, it was encouraging to see offensive tackle Andrew Thomas continue to dominate, as he led the Giants’ offense with an 87.5 PFF grade.