Print
RSS

Familiar faces return to replace injured receivers

Posted Oct 11, 2017

The Giants have brought back several receivers who made an impact in 2017 Training Camp: 


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – When the Giants waived Tavarres King on Sept.18, neither side thought the break-up was permanent.

“It wasn’t a goodbye,” King said this week. “More of a, ‘See you later.’”

Later arrived on Monday, under circumstances no one anticipated or wanted. King rejoined the Giants, one of three receivers added to the roster after four wideouts were injured Sunday in a 27-22 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. The team also signed Travis Rudolph and Ed Eagan off the practice squad.

Another receiver who was in training camp, Darius Powe, was signed to the practice squad.

Three of the injured players – Odell Beckham, Jr. (ankle), Brandon Marshall (ankle), and Dwayne Harris (foot) underwent surgery and are out for the season. Sterling Shepard also hurt his ankle, and will return at some point, but perhaps not for the Giants’ game Sunday night in Denver.

“I felt for those guys, and it really sucked to watch those guys go down,” King said. “They are more than just teammates to me. They’re brothers, so it hurts my heart for those guys to lose a season like that.”

Roger Lewis, Jr. who has 15 receptions in 18 career games, will be the Giants’ most experienced receiver when they face the Broncos. King, who has played in nine games and caught four passes, is the next most-seasoned receiver (he did catch a 41-yard touchdown pass in the NFC Wild Card Game last January). Rudolph and Eagan will make their NFL debuts. Tight ends Rhett Ellison and Evan Engram will likely also line up at wide receiver, as they did on the final drive against Los Angeles.

Coach Ben McAdoo delivered a simple message when he talked to his newest receivers.

“Just give us the best version of yourself,” McAdoo said. “They’ve gone out, they know what they’re doing on offense and on special teams. They have a great opportunity to go out and prove what they can do and that they belong in this league and they can play in this league. We have a lot of confidence in them. They just need to stay within themselves, trust the system and be the best version of themselves.”

Rudolph, 6-feet and 190 pounds, played in numerous big games and before large crowds at perennial national power Florida State, where he concluded his career with 153 receptions for 2,311 yards (15.1-yard avg.) and 18 touchdowns. He was named second-team All-ACC after his sophomore and junior seasons.

The Giants signed him as a rookie free agent on May 11, released him on Sept. 2, and brought him back to the practice squad two days later.

Quiet and soft-spoken, Rudolph is the antithesis of the modern diva wideout.

“You just got to make the best of the opportunity presenting itself,” he said. “I’m ready for it. I’ve been working on my craft every week, so I’m ready.”

Rudolph said he is, “definitely confident” he can help the team.


Eagan was a collegiate standout at Northwestern State in Louisiana, where he set school records in receptions (177), receiving yardage (2,228), all-purpose yardage (5,651), kickoff returns (125), and kickoff return yardage (2,922).

The 5-10, 193-pounder joined the Giants on Aug. 18, was waived on Sept. 2, and signed to the team’s practice squad on Sept. 20.

Eagan was watching Sunday when the four receivers he worked with every day went down with injuries.

“It was a horrible situation,” Eagan said. “But like I read the other day, one man’s crisis is another man’s opportunity. I feel bad for all of the injuries. Then again, in this business, you got to just move on. You got to step up to the plate.”

Shepard said today he was feeling better, but it’s uncertain when he will return. He first hurt his ankle on Aug. 2, and sat out the preseason opener vs. Pittsburgh nine days later.

“I’m just kind of doing the same steps I did last time and not think about it whenever I get back out there,” he said. “If you think about it, then that’s when stuff tends to happen again. So you’ve just kind of got to wipe it out of your memory.”

Shepard said watching his fellow receivers go down, “crushed me.”  But he was excited to welcome back King and Powe.

“It’s great seeing those guys,” Shepard said. “Guys are going to have to step up and play that role. We’re not going to flinch about it. We’re just going to have to – next man up.”