After two of the Giants’ top receivers missed their Week 4 contest with the New Orleans Saints on October 3, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, who are both dealing with hamstring injuries, could be back in Week 5.
According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, Shepard, Slayton and safety Jabrill Peppers [hamstring] were all in uniform at Thursday’s practice. Although they worked with the trainers on the side, they all appeared to be moving well, which gives this trio a chance to play this week.
With Shepard and Slayton out, Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, John Ross and Saquon Barkley carried the load on the Giants’ offense. This group, along with NFC Offensive Player of the Week Daniel Jones, helped lead the Giants to a thrilling come from behind victory in overtime on the road.
But as the Giants stare down the barrel at another tough opponent in the 3-1 NFC East rival Cowboys, they are going to need all of the help they can get in order to pull out their second straight win.
Regardless of their game plan, Jones and co. would be glad to have Shepard and Slayton back on their offense moving forward.
In three games this season, Shepard has caught 18 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown. He has also been one of Jones’ favorite targets on third down.
As for Slayton, he has seven receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown, but he dropped a crucial touchdown catch in the Giants’ Week 2 30-29 loss to the Washington Football team. This critical error came back to bite the Giants, who lost on a last second field goal.
Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas has had a fantastic start to his sophomore campaign in the NFL.
According to Pro Football Focus, Thomas’ 79.0 pass-blocking grade is eighth best among starting offensive tackles in the league. He hasn’t allowed a sack through the first four games, while only giving up one quarterback hit.
This is a promising sign for a player, who the Giants selected No. 4 overall in the 2020 NFL draft. And despite a shaky preseason showing, Thomas has come on strong for the Giants in year-two.
Unfortunately, Thomas was added to the injury report this week with a foot issue. Thomas sat out of the Giants’ walk through session on Wednesday, October 6, but head coach Joe Judge called it a maintenance day.
Thomas participated in Thursday’s practice and was listed as limited, however, he is still walking with a noticeable limp.
Regardless of his impressive play, the Giants cannot afford to lose their left tackle given the importance of his position as Daniel Jones’ blindside protector.
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On the other side of the ball, star defensive lineman Leonard Williams is also dealing with an injury to his knee.
But Judge categorized Williams in the same group as Thomas, calling Wednesday a “maintenance day” for him as well.
Through the first four regular season contests, Williams has 20 tackles, two tackles for a loss, one sack, three quarterback hits and five pressures.
Although he did not record a sack against the Saints last week, Williams produced one of his better games with multiple pressures, a first quarter stop on fourth down and drew a key holding penalty later in the contest, which negated a Saints’ touchdown.
The Giants cannot afford to lose their best defensive lineman on a unit that is already struggling to rush the passer. While Williams was listed as a limited participant in Thursday’s practice, it appears that he has a solid chance to play this week.
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