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Mailbag: Deep threats, possible PUP returns

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Bob in North Carolina: I believe DJ can buy time to throw deep 4 times a game. I hope for 1 catch, 1 PI, or hold. Need speed ie: Slayton until Toney/Robinson return. That will back up defenders for our slow receivers to get depth and make more room for Barkley. Your take please?

John Schmeelk: We saw Darius Slayton get the chance to do exactly this in the game on Sunday. He forced one defensive pass interference penalty. A second deep pass thrown to Slayton turned into an Eddie Jackson interception. Depending on the health of Kadarius Toney, Wan'Dale Robinson and Kenny Golladay, there's a chance we might see more of Slayton in this role moving forward given his speed. You are right that it is important to be able to threaten deep to keep defenses honest, but I hesitate to put an exact number on it per game. The number of shots you take depend on game flow, matchups, and the schemes the Giants play each week.

Kevin in Connecticut: Any rumblings about Gates or Peart possibly coming back this season?

John Schmeelk: Before the season, it seemed very possible that Nick Gates could make it back at some point this year. When that happens? I don't know, but he could be a factor at guard or center. I would not consider Peart a guard. He is long and athletic and not the type of powerful pile moving player that normally plays at guard. He could be a swing tackle behind Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal when he gets healthy. There has been no update on his return. Both players are eligible to return off PUP now that the Giants are in Week 5. It is also important to remember that when a player comes off of PUP, they have three weeks to practice before they have to be put on the active roster.

Travis in DC: What can we expect from Evan Neal as he takes his rookie lumps?

John Schmeelk: It takes time. Remember Andrew Thomas struggled in his first 10 games and then slowly turned into a Pro Bowl level player. Neal had a tough assignment with DeMarcus Lawrence, but his first two games had some very strong moments. They drafted him to be a long-term answer and cornerstone at offensive tackle. He will continue to play and develop there.

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