Giants’ Dark-Horse Starting Candidate Out With Non-Football Injury

Giants place Ryan Anderson in Reserve/Non-Football injury list

Getty Defensive end Ryan Anderson #52 and cornerback Kendall Fuller #29 of the Washington Football Team attempt to bring down running back Nick Chubb #24 of the Cleveland Browns.

The long-awaited return to football is underway in East Rutherford as New York Giants have reported to training camp. However, one of their new additions will have to wait a bit longer before he sees the field.

The team recently announced that linebacker Ryan Anderson has joined running back Sandro Platzgummer (hamstring) on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury (NFI) list. Anderson is dealing with a back injury which he sustained while away from the team. The linebacker/edge will be eligible to return to practice as soon as he is medically cleared.

Anderson, 26, signed a one-year deal with the Giants back in March after spending the past four seasons with NFC East Rival, the Washington Football Team. A second-round pick (49th overall) in 2017, the former Alabama standout has started just four of his 52 game appearances since entering the league. With that said, he’s flashed near-brilliance at times — that is, when he’s not hampered by injuries.

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Is Anderson a Dark-Horse Starting Candidate?

While the 6-foot-2-inch, 255-pounder was limited to nine games in 2020, Anderson is just two seasons removed from earning a superb 86.8 overall Pro Football Focus grade, albeit while playing just 16% of Washington’s defensive snaps. He followed up his promising performance by notching a career-high 559 defensive snaps in 2019, posting career-highs in every major statistical category, including sacks (4.0), tackles (43), tackles for loss (four) and quarterback hits (nine). Furthermore, his knack for forcing turnovers was amongst the league’s best, as his five forced fumbles that season ranked fourth-most in the NFL.

Anderson has by no means established himself as a legitimate pass-rushing threat (just 6.0 career sacks to his name). Still, he’s flaunted a serviceable well-rounded game with 39 pressures and 86 tackles over his career. The fact of the matter is, no current Giants edge defender has posted anywhere near the type of numbers Anderson has across numerous categories.

Depending on whether or not Lorenzo Carter moonlights as an inside backer in 2021, both outside backer positions could be up for grabs during training camp. The Giants would, of course, prefer second-round pick Azeez Ojulari to stake claim to one starting gig. Even if that proves to be the case, look for Anderson to compete for legitimate playing time alongside Ifeadi Odenigbo and Oshane Ximines. The latter of which is dealing with an injury of his own, as he’s been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list due to a hamstring injury.


Kadarius Toney is Back

Kadarius Toney’s whirlwind first few months as a member of the Giants took yet another turn last week when the first-rounder tested positive for COVID-19. The wideout informed his followers on Twitter shortly after that his placement on the Reserve/COVID-19 List was nothing but a “minor setback.” Thankfully, Toney’s claim appeared to hold true, as he is now out of COVID-19 protocol.

“He’s with us today in the building,” head coach Joe Judge told reporters when asked about his enigmatic rookie.

While Toney has certainly had an odd start to his NFL tenure, the Florida product offers a world of talent and athleticism at the wideout position, which the Giants haven’t had since Odell Beckham Jr. was donning the “NY” logo on the side of his helmet.

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