So much for enjoying the win. A mere two days after rookie linebacker Tae Crowder scooped and scored on a 43-yard game-winning touchdown against Washington, the New York Giants have placed him on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.
Expect David Mayo, this season’s returning leading tackler, to inherit a large role with Crowder out of the lineup. Mayo made his season debut in Week 6, but logged just 11 defensive snaps. Rookie Cam Brown could also be in for an uptick in playing time.
In a corresponding move to Crowder’s placement on injured reserve, the Giants have signed edge rusher Jabaal Sheard off the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad.
Crowder & McKinney to Return Together?
Crowder will now go on the mend for at least the next three games, making him first eligible to return in Week 10 against the Philadelphia Eagles. With that said, it’s worth noting the following week is Big Blue’s bye, which would buy Crowder some extended time to get his body right for a Week 12 bout against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Week 12 has also been the unofficial target date for rookie second-round pick, Xavier McKinney to make his much-awaited NFL debut. The former Alabama standout fractured his foot during training camp in late-August.
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Anything But Irrelevant
An afterthought in Big Blue’s highly-regarded draft haul, Crowder was the 255th and final selection of the class, inheriting the Mr. Irrelevant moniker. Yet, while some players may dread the nickname, Crowder embraced it.
“I took it as motivation. I love the name, I just wanted to get here, get to work with my team,” Crowder told reporters of following the G-Men’s first victory of the season. “One of my goals for this year was to help the team in any way I can. I thank God for coming to work each day and going to work with my team.”
If being the last player selected wasn’t enough to put Crowder behind the proverbial eight ball heading into camp, he was also the fourth and final linebacker the Giants selected over the final two rounds of the draft. However, Crowder not only beat out the rest of his fellow Giants rookie linebackers, but he also surpassed them all on the way to a starting gig.
Crowder took over for a struggling Devante Downs in Week 4 and hadn’t looked back since. That is, besides checking over his shoulder while he scooted his way into the endzone this past weekend.
Crowder played a season-high 85% of Big Blue’s defensive snaps in Week 6, finishing with 10 tackles (six solo) to go along with the aforementioned fumble recovery and defensive touchdown.
However, despite being the hero that finally cemented a “W” in the win column for the Giants this season, the former Georgia standout remained humble in victory.
“I have to say big ups to my teammate Kyler Fackrell for making a big play, a strip-sack on the quarterback and I was in the right place at the right time,” Crowder said after the game. “Just trying to make a play for my team.”
While Crowder was quick to give others credit, Leonard Williams went out of his way to heap some much deserved praise on the young linebacker.
“It’s funny that you call him Mr. Irrelevant because he’s been doing a lot for us,” Williams said. “Since he came in, he’s been a quiet guy who slowly worked his way up into playing with the defense. He built his trust up with his teammates and went out there and made a huge play today, possibly the deciding factor of the game.”
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