While Jabrill Peppers may have gone viral for his hilarious coin toss antics, the New York Giants made do without their starting safety for the majority of Week 4. They may need to once again do so in a pivotal Week 5 bout with NFC East rivals, the Dallas Cowboys.
Peppers, who logged just 19 snaps in the team’s victory over New Orleans, stated after the game that despite sustaining a hamstring injury against the Saints that “it’s going to be hard as hell to keep me off the field next week in Dallas.”
USA Today’s Art Stapleton warned against taking Peppers’ word as gospel, as the Giants beat writer noted “that might have been adrenaline talking.” Turns out that may have very well been the case. The Atheltic’s Dan Duggan has reported that sources say Peppers’ hamstring injury is “severe enough that he may not be able to play” against Dallas.
Duggan added that a final decision on Peppers’ playing status won’t come until later in the week, but noted that “there’s some concern.” The former first-round pick did not practice with the team on Wednesday, joining starting defensive lineman Leonard Williams as the lone two Giants defenders to log a DNP on the day.
Giants Bring in ‘Insurance’
With Peppers’ status in question, the Giants have re-signed safety Steven Parker to their practice squad. The move comes just one day after Parker was released in a corresponding move to the addition of ex-Green Bay Packers cornerback Ka’dar Hollman.
If Parker does happen to get the call up to the active roster in Week 5, the Oklahoma product will be embarking on a revenge game of sorts. The former undrafted free agent spent the 2020 NFL season splitting time between Dallas’ practice squad and active roster. In eight games with the Cowboys, he collected eight tackles, logged 78 defensive snaps and 89 special teams snaps.
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Xavier McKinney & Julian Love
Should Peppers be unable to give it a go on Sunday, expect the Giants to continue to lean on the likes of Xavier McKinney and Julian Love opposite Logan Ryan in their base defensive scheme. McKinney has established himself as a mainstay in Patrick Graham’s system, as the second-year safety has logged 129 snaps over the past two weeks of play — tied for second-most on the team.
As for Love, he’s likely the player to most be affected by Peppers’ potential absence, as he’s slowly begun to see an uptick in playing time in recent weeks. After logging a grand total of just 18 snaps over the first two weeks, Love notched 20 snaps and 47 snaps in Week 3 and Week 4, respectively. Expect the versatile Notre Dame product to expand on his role in Week 5 if No. 21 dons street clothes in Arlington this Sunday.
Full Giants Injury Report
Peppers and Williams aren’t the only starters dealing with injuries. In fact, eight starters in total were either listed as DNPs or limited participants on Big Blue’s latest injury report. According to the team’s official website, the Giants held a walk-through on Wednesday, meaning that practice statuses are projections.
|DB Jabrill Peppers||Hamstring||DNP|
|WR Sterling Shepard||Hamstring||DNP|
|WR Darius Slayton||Hamstring||DNP|
|TE Kaden Smith||Knee||DNP|
|OT Andrew Thomas||Foot||DNP|
|DL Leonard Williams||Knee||DNP|
|RB Saquon Barkley||Knee||LP|
|OL Ben Bredeson||Hand||LP|
|DB Nate Ebner||Quad||LP|
|WR Kenny Golladay||Groin||LP|
|WR C.J. Board||Clavicle||FP|