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Giants push forward after string of WR injuries

Posted Oct 10, 2017

Eli Manning and the Giants discuss overcoming adversity amid a string of injuries to their wide receiver corps:


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.– Neither the loss of five consecutive games nor four wide receivers to injury will dim Eli Manning’s resolve or optimism.
The Giants reported to work today to begin preparing for a game that will be as strange and challenging as any they’ve recently had. On Sunday night, they will face the 3-1 Denver Broncos, who are 15-3 in prime time games at home since the start of the 2011 season. And they will do so with a cast of wide receivers put together on the fly after an unprecedented spate of injuries at the position in their 27-22 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

>> ROGER LEWIS STEPS UP AFTER INJURIES AT WR

Odell Beckham, Jr., Sterling Shepard, Brandon Marshall, and Dwayne Harris – whose combined career receptions equal 1,429 – all left the game, the first three with injured ankles, and Harris with a broken foot. Beckham and Harris – who was the team’s primary punt and kickoff returner - were placed on injured reserve yesterday, and Marshall joined them today. All three are out for the season. Shepard is listed as day-to-day with a sprained left ankle, the same injury he suffered early in training camp.

Roger Lewis, Jr. was the only Giants wideout who made it out of Sunday’s game intact. He will be joined in Denver by Tavarres King (waived on Sept. 18, re-signed yesterday), Travis Rudolph (signed off the practice squad yesterday), and Ed Eagan (signed off the practice squad today). Tight ends Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison might also line up at wide receiver, as they did late in the Chargers game. The career receptions total for those six players is 95. Rudolph and Eagan have never played in a regular-season game.

None of these facts remotely intimidate or bother Manning.

“We have to move on,” he said today. “Obviously, whenever you lose players, you have to make adjustments and other guys have to step up. Nothing has changed in that fact. So we have some guys – brought back some guys who have been around, been in the system who have made some plays for us in the past. So they’ll be ready. They’ll know the system. They’ll know what they’re doing. Thrown the routes with them before. Shouldn’t have to worry about guys not knowing their assignments. I’ll have confidence in them and we’ll go out there, have a good plan, go execute it.”

Manning said it’s “a good thing” that each of the new receivers is familiar with the Giants’ offensive system.

“They have been around,” Manning said. “I think it’s different when you bring in a guy who is brand new to the system. Then you’re working all week just to make sure he knows what the routes are, knows what the adjustments are, knows everything. With these guys, some of them have been here two-three years. They know what they’re doing. They were just here a few weeks ago, so they’ll be ready. We’ll talk. There’s always some things you’ve added in. There’s some new plays or different things, but I don’t see there being a problem with being on the same page. I think we’ll be on the same page. Just about going and competing and making the plays.”

To recap today’s medical news, Beckham (fractured ankle) underwent surgery last night. Marshall (ankle stabilization) and Harris (fracture of fifth metatarsal) had surgery today. All three procedures were performed by Dr. Martin O'Malley at Hospital for Special Surgery.

Eagan, 5-10 and 193 pounds, was today’s newcomer to the roster. He was first signed by the Giants on Aug. 18. Eagan was waived on Sept. 2, and signed to the team’s practice squad on Sept. 20.

Eagan first entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys on May 6, 2016. After his release on Aug. 10, he was signed by the Cleveland Browns. Eagan was waived by the Browns and spent most of the 2016 season on the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad.

Eagan is the Northwestern State (La.) career leader in receptions (177), receiving yardage (2,228), all-purpose yardage (5,651), kickoff returns (125) and kickoff return yardage (2,922).

*The Giants signed wide receiver Kalif Raymond and offensive lineman Ethan Cooper to their practice squad.

Raymond, 5-9 and 160 pounds, played four games for the Broncos in 205 and two games for the Jest last season. He did not catch a pass, but he averaged 9.3 yards on 16 punt returns and 24.7 yards on nine kickoff returns. Raymond played collegiate football at Holy Cross.

Cooper, 6-2 and 332 pounds, was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers on May 1 and waived on Sept. 2. He played at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which is Ben McAdoo’s alma mater.

*The Giants terminated the practice squad contract of Anthony Fabiano, who was signed last week.