EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants have lost one of their most promising defensive players for the remainder of the season.
An examination Monday revealed that third-year outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter ruptured his left Achilles tendon in Dallas. He will undergo surgery within the next few days to repair the injury.
"He's an integral part of this team," coach Joe Judge said. "He's a great dude in the locker room. He's a blast to coach. The good news for him is they can do remarkable things with these injuries now to get him back on the field as soon as possible. That also being said, we won't see him again this year. We're going to miss having a guy like that out there for a lot of different reasons. Our thoughts and prayers obviously go out to him for what he's worked to do, and we appreciate everything he's done for this team. We look forward to getting him back next year."
The Giants were counting on Carter and second-year pro Oshane Ximines to be two of their top pass rushers this season. Now both will be on injured reserve. Ximines was placed there Friday with a shoulder injury, though he will be eligible to return after missing two more games.
"From the information we got from the doctors right now, it looks like there's some hope for him to come back soon," Judge said of Ximines. "I know he's working hard right now to get back."
The Giants' remaining outside linebackers are veterans Kyler Fackrell and Markus Golden, plus rookies Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin.
"There are a lot of things we could do right there," Judge said. "Obviously, Markus played a lot yesterday as well, so he'll be a key part of what we're doing. We'll see how it deflects on our other personnel around. Carter Coughlin and Cam Brown are guys who have been at the games for us and play the outside linebacker position. They're obviously a factor in what we're doing. But it's really no different than any other position on any week in terms of we're going to find the best combinations we can put together."
The Giants return to action Sunday in MetLife Stadium against the Washington Football Team.
Carter finished his third NFL season with 15 tackles (11 solo) and 1.0 sack.
"Lorenzo Carter is a great player," said defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson. "He was having a great season so far. Missing him is going to be a key to our defense. We had some other guys who were in that position who were able to step up and take up the role that Lorenzo left."
Fackrell certainly did. He gave the Giants a 14-3 lead in the first quarter when he intercepted a Dak Prescott pass and returned it 46 yards for his first career touchdown. Fackrell also had three tackles (two solo), including one for a loss. He is tied with Blake Martinez and Leonard Williams for the team lead with 2.0 sacks.
"Kyler's a guy that's made some plays for us throughout the year so far," Judge said. "He's a guy who has some versatility to how he plays. He was in the right spot at the right time because he followed his alignment and his drop assignment on that play where he made the interception. He finished it with a good run down the sideline, he got in the end zone for us and made a big play. He had some nice plays in the run game as well. In terms of Kyler, regardless of who else is at the game, we need him to do his job as well as possible for us to have success."
*The Giants lost two touchdowns because of penalties in their 37-34 loss to the Cowboys yesterday. The first was an illegal shift on a successful fake field goal pass from Riley Dixon to Evan Engram. In the third quarter, Damion Ratley's offensive pass interference penalty nullified a 31-yard touchdown pass from Daniel Jones to Darius Slayton.
Judge commented on both infractions, first the call that took away Engram's score.
"We just weren't set as a unit right there, and that's not one person," he said. "That ties into a couple different things communication wise and execution wise. We'll talk with the team and make sure they understand fully what it is. That was a situational play that came up. We had the opportunity to call it. It was something we prepared for that could come up at different times. We hit it. Evan did a really good job of executing on his part in terms of the substitution exchange and the execution down the field. But we have a couple things we have to clean up on that right there. It wasn't one person at all."
Engram said, "we had it set up to where coming off, we would know that we were going to run it. We were probably a split second, maybe half a second away from it being clean."
Judge refrains from criticizing individual players and did not blame Ratley for the second score taken off the board.
"I always put it on we have to execute cleaner and better and not give an official any opportunity to affect the game", he said. "To me, the emphasis is always on what we can teach our players how to clean it up and execute better, and make sure we don't have those issues."
*Wide receiver Sterling Shepard has missed three games and is eligible to be activated off injured reserve. Shepard hasn't played since suffering a turf toe in Chicago on Sept. 27.
"I need to take a look at him at practice, obviously," Judge said. "He stayed behind this week to do some extra work with the trainers. I know he's made a lot of progress on a weekly basis. We'll get him moving around a little bit this week with the trainers early on and see where that's going to lead as far as him going into practice. We're kind of in the same spot right now with (linebacker David) Mayo as well. We'll have to see how he moves around in practice again this week to see where he'll be for this weekend."
*After they face Washington, the Giants will return to action the following Thursday night in Philadelphia. Judge was asked how he will handle the short week.
"Our experience in the past which has worked out pretty good for the players is obviously it's a lighter on-the-field load," he said. "It's a heavy mental week and mental preparation week, so you have to make sure that you go ahead and you give your players time to recuperate and recover from the game this Sunday that we're going to play. But that will be a little bit of a lighter load that we'll build on in. The toughest thing for the guys to understand is once that game against Washington is over, you're already middle of the way through the game week against Philly on a normal week's preparation. It's a very quick turnaround. The biggest emphasis on those weeks is, really physically, let the players recover as much as possible to get them as fresh as you can for the game.
"This week itself, because it's a tight turnaround, we have multiple games in a short window, we'll talk collectively with some of the players, with the strength staff and with our trainers tomorrow morning and kind of see where the team is at physically. Then we'll go ahead and determine and adjust how we're going to approach this week here. Last week after the west coast trip, we did a Wednesday walkthrough, Thursday and Friday practice. I thought we had great energy at practice. We had very efficient practices. We'll see if that's something that applies this week or not, but I haven't yet made a decision."
View photos of the Giants' active roster as it currently stands.