EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Andrew Thomas' tardiness created an opportunity for Matt Peart that might last a while.
Thomas, the Giants' first-round draft choice this year, did not start at left tackle for the first time this season in the Giants' victory yesterday against Washington. After the game, he admitted in a statement released by the Giants the action was taken because he was late for a Saturday night meeting.
Peart, the tackle selected in the third round, started the game. Thomas returned for the first series in the second quarter. For the rest of the game, the two rookies had a time share at tackle. Peart, who totaled 17 offensive snaps in the first five games, played 26 yesterday, while Thomas had 22.
"Marc (Colombo, the offensive line coach) had them on a rotation," coach Joe Judge said. "He kind of just stuck with the number of series that were going in and out at that point right there."
So, what happens when the Giants return to action Thursday night in Philadelphia? Judge hinted that Peart will continue to split time with Thomas and perhaps right tackle Cam Fleming.
"I think (Peart) did a good enough job," Judge said. "I have confidence to put him on the field. I have confidence in Andrew, I have confidence in Cam. I have confidence in all of our offensive linemen. Has he earned the right to be on the field and contribute? Absolutely. That's why he's going to be at the games for us. Everybody on our roster and practice squad has earned the right to be here. We have confidence we'll play any of them any time."
Judge was not about to make an announcement that might benefit the Eagles.
"We'll go through practice this week and kind of see where everything shakes out right now," Judge said. "But I was pleased with the way both (Thomas) and Matt played, along with Cam. We have multiple guys who can play the positions. Matt's a guy that's worked on the right and the left. We've practiced Andrew both on the right and the left as it is anyway, and Cam gets reps on the left as well, just to make sure we're all in position if we have to get our numbers called. We'll go through practice these next couple of days and kind of see how everything shakes out. But again, we expect all of them to be at the game and we expect all of them to play."
The offensive line is a position group where continuity is often considered essential. But Judge indicated he's not reluctant to mix things up.
"I think the biggest emphasis is just it's important for us to play as many of our guys as possible, especially these young guys who need to gain the experience," Judge said. "They can only really improve by being on the field and working. Matt's a guy that's shown a lot of improvement in the way he works in practice. We've seen it from the team periods, the individual one on one pass rush periods. He's shown progress in the games and the action he's seen. Andrew has been doing a good job for us as well. To me, it's just important to get guys involved and let them play and learn."
Judge repeated what he said soon after the game, that the move was not made because Thomas wasn't playing to the standards set by the coaching staff, and he is very fond of the 21-year-old tackle.
"There was just a plan to go ahead and move our players on through the entire game at multiple positions, so we just stuck to the plan right there," Judge said. "There was nothing performance-based on that at all in that right there, no.
"I stress again with Andrew, obviously, this is something the guy made a mistake on a team policy. Again, I'd like to stress this guy is a great dude in the building. We love Andrew. Nothing disrespectful or malicious. He just made a mistake and there are consequences."
*Cornerback Ryan Lewis continues to impress Judge. Lewis was waived by Washington on Sept. 5 and did two short stints on the Giants' practice squad before joining the roster for good on Sept. 22. He made his second start yesterday and was one of four players to participate in all 73 defensive snaps.
Lewis spent some time shadowing dangerous wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who caught seven passes for 74 yards, a 7.4-yard average that was considerably less than his 14.2-yard average entering the game.
"I thought Ryan has been playing well for us," Judge said. "He's definitely a guy that's made a lot of progress for us. We've been familiar with Ryan for some time. I've had experience with him in the past (with New England in 2018). He's definitely a guy who has really improved over the course of his career. I have a lot of confidence in Ryan on the field. He's a tough dude. He definitely rose to the competition.
"McLaurin is a heck of a receiver. This guy is as explosive as can be. You talk to guys like Colt (McCoy), who had him on the team as a teammate with him. Early in the week, Colt is saying some accolades about this guy about how he's one of the best receivers he's ever thrown to in terms of what this guy can do to get open and then what he does with the ball in his hand. It paints a picture that this guy is an excellent player. You see it on tape. I remember when the guy came out of college, he was painted a little bit more as a special teams guy than an offensive guy. I think this guy has definitely shown he's got versatility and he' definitely a weapon for their offense. He'd be a player for any team in this league. Ryan did a good job for us right there. That's just part of the matchups we established for the game plan right there. Later in the game, it was changed up for different reason, but I thought Ryan did a good job for us yesterday."
*The Giants officially placed linebacker Lorenzo Carter on injured reserve. The third-year pro tore his Achilles tendon in Dallas and underwent surgery last week. He will miss the remainder of the season.
*The Giants did not practice today but released a projected injury report. Four players would not have participated: wide receiver C.J. Board (concussion), linebacker Tae Crowder (hamstring), and defensive backs Darnay Holmes (neck) and Adrian Colbert (shoulder). Wide receiver Darius Slayton (foot) would have been limited. Crowder and Slayton scored the Giants' touchdowns yesterday.
Running back Dion Lewis (hand) would have been a full participant.
View photos from the Week 6 matchup between the Giants and Washington at MetLife Stadium.