Giants Activate Rookie RB While Leading Rusher Deals With ‘Personal Issue’

Giants activate Gary Brightwell, Devontae Booker misses practice

Getty Giants RB Gary Brightwell.

After missing the team’s Week 9 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders, New York Giants rookie Gary Brightwell was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on November 15th. The first-year pro was one of two positives (running back coach Burton Burns being the other) among a flurry of false positives leading up to the Raiders tilt. A sixth-round pick out of Arizona, Brightwell has played mostly on special teams, where he’s logged 125 snaps (59%) this season.

In Brightwell’s absence, Devontae Booker was the lone true running back active against Las Vegas — fullback Eli Penny manned backup duties at the position. Booker, who has started each of the team’s last four games with Saquon Barkley sidelined, gashed the Raiders defense for a career-high 99 rushing yards. After coming out the gates rather slow, the 29-year-old veteran has averaged 123.5 yards from scrimmage and 4.4 yards per carry over his last two outings.

Booker Dealing With ‘Personal Issue,’ Misses Practice

Booker did sustain a hip injury against the Raiders that forced him to exit the game early. According to’s Dan Salomone, X-rays on the injury came back negative for Booker, who confirmed that he was “[feeling] great.” However, in the team’s first practice back from the bye, Booker was nowhere to be seen, although whether that has to do something with his hip injury is unclear.

According to Dan Duggan of The Athletic, Booker was one of three players — including Penny and kicker Graham Gano — who are all dealing with “personal issues.”

The latest Giants news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Giants newsletter here!

Sign up for the Heavy on Giants Newsletter!

Saquon & Andrew Thomas Trending Up

While there isn’t any indication currently that Booker’s personal matter will keep him out of the lineup come next Monday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the fact that Barkley could be suiting up certainly brings a sigh of relief. In his first practice action since injuring his ankle against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5, Barkley showed little limitation on Monday and looks on track to reclaim his spot atop the depth chart, via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan:

“In terms of Saquon, he’ll be out here today doing some stuff with us and we’ll see how that kind of builds in throughout the rest of the week,” said head coach Joe Judge. “He lost a lot last week not having the availability with the COVID stuff. That set him back a little bit — I wouldn’t say set him back physically, but in terms of his timetable and not having him ready for that game. But, optimistic we’ll have him out there today and see how he moves.”

In other injury news, special teamer Nate Ebner (ankle), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (quad), linebacker Lorenzo Carter (ankle) and left tackle Andrew Thomas (ankle/foot) all worked on the side with trainers.

Shepard, the team’s leader in receptions (32), has missed four of the team’s last six games with numerous lower-body injuries. Carter, who has been absent in back-to-back games, may have lost a handle on his starting gig amidst Quincy Roche’s breakout.

Thomas, who has been on injured reserve since sustaining an ankle injury in Week 6, is eligible to return against Tampa Bay.

“Andrew will move around a little bit with the trainers today. We’ll kind of see him over the next couple of days in terms of progress he’s making. It’s been moving in the right direction,” Judge said.


Read More