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Cover 3: Who steps up to bolster WR unit?


Three Giants writers discuss the state of the team's receiving unit:

Wide receiver coach Adam Henry's meeting room will be quiet this week. The unthinkable happened on Sunday when the Giants lost four players at his position because of injuries: Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris.

In this week's Cover 3, our writers talk about how the team can fill the void in the depleted receiving corps.


The easy answer here is Roger Lewis Jr., right? He's the only healthy wide receiver left on the active roster, and he immediately becomes the most experienced player with the team at the position. I would expect the team to try to run it more and use 12 personnel to get their tight ends on the field, but success will still come down to wide receivers getting open and making plays. Roger Lewis Jr. will be the guy that will have to do a lot of that. Eli Manning and the offensive coaches are going to have to put in a lot of extra work this week to get whomever they add to the roster up to the speed.


As Justin Pugh said, the injuries didn't sink in until he looked up on the final drive and saw three tight ends in the huddle. Get used to it. Well, maybe not three because the Giants will make roster moves to shore up the receivers. But it will be Evan Engram time. The rookie tight end has the skillset to play many of the receiver spots, and they'll need their first-round pick to step up his game. He was already leading all rookie tight ends in receptions and yards. Now he'll have to do even more.

"We have packages where I'm split out wide and we have certain plays and I'm kind of familiar with the offense enough to know what's going on up there," said Engram, who split out wide in the final series of the game. "So, it wasn't that much of a difficult adjustment. There were just some small things that I just kind of had to go and roll with it. I felt comfortable out there. The next guy had to step up. We were trying to drive down there with the guys we had."


The NFL is all about opportunity. Unfortunately, more often than not, that tends to occur because of injuries to other players. With four receivers going down on Sunday against the Chargers, and two likely out long term, the Giants could promote Travis Rudolph from the practice squad. Rudolph signed with the team this offseason as an undrafted rookie out of Florida State and had an impressive preseason, leading the team in receiving yards (157, including a team-high 81 vs. the Jets) and finishing tied for second in receptions (nine). He also returned three punts and three kickoffs.

The latter shouldn't be overlooked because with Harris and Beckham both out, the Giants need help in the return game. Rudolph will have a great chance to contribute to both facets of the team. It's also beneficial that he's been with the team going back to offseason workouts, so he has familiarity with the system. That makes it easier for him to step in, unlike someone joining the team for the first time five weeks into the season.

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