It was up-and-down for most of the game, but the New York Giants would end up losing a crushing 23-16 to the division rival Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football in Week 3.
New York was dealt their first loss of 2022. But the Giants have even worse news as they suffered a big injury blow late in the game.
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who led the team with five catches for 49 yards on Monday, had a leg injury on the same play Daniel Jones threw his fourth-quarter interception and was carted off the field.
After the game, head coach Brian Daboll said he didn’t have an update, but that it “didn’t look good.”
“It’s tough,” Daboll added. “It’s a tough sport. Guys work their butts off to get back from injuries and if this is something that he’s out for the whole season, which we’ll probably know tomorrow morning or maybe we even know now, you hurt for those guys because they put everything into it. You watch them in the rehab room, you watch them in the offseason — it’s just a shame.”
However, according to theScore’s Jordan Schultz, the Giants are “preparing for the worst” when it comes to Shepard’s injury and that the fear is a season-ending situation.
New York will run tests Tuesday morning to determine the severity.
Shepard is coming off an Achilles tear he suffered last season. He was cleared to play before the season and has played in the team’s first three games.
Overview of Game
Despite now being 0-9 in primetime games, Jones could only do so much. The fourth-year quarterback ran nine times for 79 rushing yards, with most of his runs due to avoiding pressure. The Giants’ offense allowed five sacks, three of them from Demarcus Lawrence. Jones finished with 20/37 completions for 196 yards and a late interception in the fourth quarter.
First-round rookie offensive tackle Evan Neal had a game he’d like to forget. He was responsible for all three of Lawrence’s sacks and was
Still, Saquon Barkley did provide a spark in the third quarter, getting a 36-yard rushing touchdown and evading tackles during the process. He ran back for 81 yards on 14 carries.
But the Cowboys’ offense had its way in the running game throughout the game. Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard rushed a combined 30 times for 176 rushing yards, averaging 5.1 yards per attempt. It’s clear the Giants missed Leonard Williams, who was out due to a knee injury.
Quarterback Cooper Rush, who’s filled in for the injured Dak Prescott, had 21/31 completions for 215 yards and one touchdown.
Unlike the Cowboys, who got 87 yards and one touchdown of production from CeeDee Lamb, the Giants couldn’t get any of their wide receivers going in the game. The Giants wideouts had six drops in Week 3.
The Giants are now 1-10 against the Cowboys since 2017.
Teammate Defends Evan Neal
After the game, left tackle Andrew Thomas defended Neal when asked about his play.
“We had a tough game,” Thomas said, via SB Nation. “I think the whole offensive line didn’t play to the level we want to play to. He is a good player, just got to keep working, we’ll clean up the film and onto the next week, you got to put it away.”
Thomas can relate to Neal’s struggles as he also had a shaky start to his career. The 2020 first-round pick allowed a league-high 57 pressures in his rookie season and also gave up 10 sacks and 39 hurries.
In the first two weeks of the 2022 season, Thomas had an 89.1 PFF grade, which made him the NFL’s highest-graded offensive tackle.
While the results so far from Neal haven’t been promising, there’s still plenty of time for Neal to bounce back — especially seeing Thomas’ transformation.