For a brief moment last week, the Giants looked to be at full strength.
Today, the notion of seeing all of their offensive players on the field at the same time, for the first time, is again fleeting.
Tight end Evan Engram suffered a midfoot sprain in Monday night’s loss to the Cowboys. “It could be a lot worse,” Engram said Wednesday in front of his locker while he wore a protective boot. His fear was the dreaded Lisfranc injury, but that appears to have been avoided.
“That was the worry, that there was a real severe injury there,” said Engram. “It’s not that bad. I don’t know all the medical terms, but it could be a lot worse.”
The initial injury happened when a player rolled up on him in the third quarter. He aggravated it in the fourth quarter and woke up the next morning knowing something was wrong. Rehab has been prescribed. The Giants play the Jets on Sunday in their final game before the bye week. The Giants resume in Week 12 at Chicago.
“I hate not being out there playing football,” Engram said. “It’s out of my control, so I just have to control what I can and get back as soon as I can.”
Engram missed the Giants’ Week 9 game in New England due to a knee injury. The 23rd overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft has yet to play a full 16-game schedule in his career, which led to him making it a top priority in 2019. He was unable to play in five games last season and missed one in his rookie campaign.
“Yeah, but it’s not my fault, it’s this crazy game we play, things happen,” Engram said. “I can attack the treatment, I can attack my recovery and continue to stay focused on the things I was doing and speed up my recovery time and get back out there as soon as possible.”
Coming off Monday Night Football, the Giants conducted a jog-through on Wednesday as on-field preparations began for the Jets. Center Jon Halapio (hamstring) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) joined Engram on the injury report as players who did not participate. Right tackle Mike Remmers (back) was limited.
Shepard has now missed four games after suffering a concussion vs. Minnesota on Oct. 6. He was cleared from the protocol last Friday afternoon after an appointment with the independent neurological consultant. The following night, he did not feel well and was sent for examination, which eventually led to him being ruled out vs. Dallas. Shurmur said today that the team sent him to Pittsburgh for further evaluation.
Meanwhile, Spencer Pulley is the next man up after Halapio. Shurmur, a former college center, has stated on more than one occasion that he feels the team has two capable starters at the position.
“If Spencer has to go, we trust him,” Shurmur said. “He played really well for us last year and we’re glad that he’s here. If he has to get in there, we’re very certain he’s going to play well.”
Pulley started the final nine games of 2018 at center while Halapio was on injured reserve. He has yet to play since then in the regular season.
“He should be fresh,” Shurmur said.
*The Giants will face quarterback Sam Darnold for the first time since the Jets drafted him third overall in 2018. The Giants took running back Saquon Barkley the pick before him.
“I see an outstanding young quarterback,” Shurmur said. “He can play and he can help his team win games. That’s what I see. … We had a high opinion of him (coming out of USC). Thought he was an outstanding player. A well-accomplished player that we were pretty certain he was going to have an outstanding career.”
*Former Jet Leonard Williams played 47 snaps (66.2 percent) on defense and eight on special teams in his Giants debut. The veteran defensive lineman joined the team last week in a trade that sent a 2020 third-round selection and a 2021 fifth round selection (which could become a fourth) to the Jets.
“Yeah, we’ve talked about these things before, players or coaches from other teams. It’s going to be based on what we see on film,” Shurmur said. “He obviously knows the players on that team intimately, but we just have to match up and play and not be too concerned about that.”
Shurmur added: “I think we just have to build on what he did last week. He had some really good reps in there. He had some things, obviously, that he has to clean up, like everybody else. We talked about it last week when he came in. He has the ability to play all throughout the front. I think he’s a very active player that can get pressure on the quarterback, and I think he’s good against the run. Just kind of continue to build on that within our scheme.”
*Daniel Jones ran six times for 54 yards on Monday night, both personal highs for the rookie quarterback. He lost a fumble on one of those runs.
“I think he needs to learn from that,” Shurmur said. “He did slide the other night a couple times. He’s getting better at it where he didn’t take hits. Then there was the one where he fumbled where that’s just a matter of a competitive guy who was well aware where the sticks were, and was trying to get the first down. So that’s what you balance. When you hold the ball, nothing you do is acceptable when you don’t end the down with the ball. That’s important for all players to know that touch the ball. He’s aware of that and he’ll learn from that. There was one he went out of bounds, he got waylaid by some guy with a boom mic. I don’t know what you do about that. Those guys have to be a little fitter and get the heck out of the way.”
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