Matt Peart’s disappointing 2021 campaign for the New York Giants is officially over and his tenure in East Rutherford might be as well.
The team announced on Monday, December 27, that the second-year offensive tackle suffered a torn ACL in the Giants’ 34-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16. Peart sustained the injury with less than four minutes remaining in the first quarter of his sixth career start. In the lineup due to Nate Solder being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the injured Peart was replaced by Korey Cunningham for the remainder of the contest.
Shortly after the news was confirmed, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post quickly took to Twitter to cast doubt on Peart ever suiting up in a Giants uniform again.
It wasn’t all too long ago that Peart was believed to be a long-term fixture in the New York Giants’ plans. An extremely tantalizing third-round pick out of UConn in 2020, there was even some speculation from the scouting community that the Giants would be better served to deploy Peart over Andrew Thomas at left tackle. That take has quickly fizzled out — as has the hype surrounding Peart.
After losing a position battle in camp to a 33-year-old Nate Solder, Peart mostly moonlighted as a swing tackle in his second pro season. When he was thrust into action — such as this past Sunday — the returns were far from promising. While analytics don’t always tell the full story, I think we can all agree a 9.8 pass-block grade (per Pro Football Focus), such as the one Peart netted in his 11 offensive snaps vs. the Eagles, is less than ideal.
Despite his struggles, Peart is still just 24 years of age and remains a freakish athlete at his 6-foot-7-inch, 318-pound build. While the injury is certainly a damning setback, there’s still untapped potential the Giants would be wise to entertain. However, the writing may ultimately be on the wall when it comes to Peart’s standing within the organization, as the team has been bullish in their reluctance to deploy him with regularity, despite owning one of the most inept offensive units in all of football.
Offensive line coach Rob Sale bluntly told reporters in early December that Solder was “plain and simple” the “better player” when compared to Peart, via Dan Duggan of The Athletic. While Giants Super Bowl Champion Lawrence Tynes revealed on a November 30 airing of his “Blue Rush Podcast” that an unnamed source claimed Peart has entered the team’s dog house due to “lack of intensity at practice” and making “far too many mental mistakes.”
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Joe Judge Reacts to Peart’s Injury
Head coach Joe Judge met with reporters on Monday to detail the numerous hurdles Peart had and continues to undergo this season, sharing his sympathy for the young offensive tackle:
You talk about Matt’s year this year, trying to build in that second year, I think one thing is he’s dealt with a number of setbacks from injury. He showed up to training camp, had to go on PUP, had an issue with his back that set him back a good bit. That was something that kind of snowballed and kind of rolled into early in the season as far as him being able to go out there and really play at a top-level. There’s been a number of other things that kind of crept up on him this year in terms of bumps and bruises that have kind of carried over. To see his season end the way it is with the ACL and how he was really plugging forward – one thing about Matt is he’s a really, really good team player and the guys really like him and respect the way he works and goes out there every day and prepares and challenges and competes.
You hate seeing any player get hurt, you hate seeing guys who truly love the game and love their team being injured. One thing that we’re certain of is we know he’s going to get great medical attention and he’s going to get great attention to the rehab process and get him back on the field. He’s still a young player, he’s got a bright future ahead of him.