Your 2018 New York Giant Captains
EAST RUTHEFORD, N.J. – Coach Pat Shurmur today announced that six players have been selected as captains of the 2018 Giants in a vote by the team's players and coaches.
The 2018 captains:
Offense: Eli Manning and Nate Solder
Defense: Landon Collins and Alec Ogletree
Special Teams: Zak DeOssie and Michael Thomas
This is Manning's 12th consecutive season and DeOssie's eighth as Giants captains. Solder, Ogletree and Thomas are newcomers to the team this season. Ogletree was a captain last year with the Los Angeles Rams.
The captains each of the last two seasons were Manning, DeOssie and Jonathan Casillas, who is no longer with the team. This is the first season in which the Giants will have more than three captains since 2014, when they had five (Manning, DeOssie, Victor Cruz, Antrel Rolle and Jon Beason).
"We feel good about the leadership of our team," Shurmur said. "We feel like the players and coaches have chosen well, and we look forward to having these captains lead us through the 2018 season."
*The six players the Giants claimed on waivers yesterday all practiced today - defensive lineman Mario Edwards, Jr., wide receiver Kaelin Clay, center Spencer Pulley, and defensive backs Antonio Hamilton, Mike Jordan and Kamrin Moore.
Edwards will likely line up in the interior of the defensive line as a replacement for Josh Mauro, who will miss the first four games while serving an NFL suspension.
"I see myself wherever they want me to play," said Edwards, who played three seasons for the Oakland Raiders. "I feel like I could play end or (tackle), whichever one they want me to play. I'm just here to contribute to the team."
Clay is expected to contribute as a return specialist, a position Shurmur conceded has not been finalized.
"We're still figuring that out, but we brought in a player, a receiver that played it and we think can do it, so we'll figure it out from there," Shurmur said. "We all know we have a really good one just hanging around, number 13 (Odell Beckham, Jr.). We feel really good about the fact if he has to go in there and do it, but we are certainly looking for a guy that can also do it."
*The most important task for each newcomer is learning enough in six days to contribute against Jacksonville if called upon.
"That is part of the challenge and hopefully we won't have to do this (bring in six players a week before the opener) every year," Shurmur said. "But if you look at the guys we picked up - three in the secondary, an offensive lineman, we added different guys to the practice squad - we're going to continue to try to improve all the position groups, and if there's a player that we have evaluated and feel good about taking a look at, we'll do that. That's just part of this process."
*Asked if top draft choice Saquon Barkley is a candidate to return kickoffs, Shurmur said, "Sure. I think he returned one (97 yards) to open the game against Ohio State a year ago. So, yeah, he's capable."
"I'll be eager to definitely be in the mix of kickoff return," Barkley said. "I did it in college. I was able to help my team out in the college in that area. If they, or if I show that I'm capable of doing that for the Giants, why not? It's definitely something I feel comfortable with, and I'm honestly willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win. If that's the job they want me to do, I would love to do that."
Barkley, who missed the final three preseason games with a hamstring strain, practiced today.
"I definitely think I'm ready for a full (work)load (vs. Jacksonville)," Barkley said. "The way I've been preparing, the way I've been practicing. We got a whole bunch of great backs in our room. That's going to help us in that area, too. I'm just excited for the game, excited to get the season started."
*Linebacker Olivier Vernon did not practice because of his sprained ankle.
"He was in the training room getting treatment," Shurmur said. "We're hopeful (he'll play Sunday), but we'll just have to see."
*Tight end Evan Engram, who is in the concussion protocol, practiced wearing a red "do-not-touch" jersey.
"He's still in the protocol, but we're hopeful," Shurmur said.
*The Giants signed linebacker Ukeme Eligwe to their practice squad. Eligwe, 6-2 and 239 pounds, played in 14 regular-season games with one start and in one postseason game last season for the Kansas City Chiefs. He had three solo tackles, including a sack in the season finale at Denver. Eligwe was a fifth-round draft choice (183rd overall selection) last year by the Chiefs, from Southern University. He was waived by the Chiefs on Saturday.
*Several players will have new jersey numbers when the Giants next practice on Wednesday: Russell Shepard will wear No. 81 (he had been No. 8), Robert Martin switches from No. 49 to No. 25, and B.W. Webb from No. 37 to No. 23.
The new Giants have been assigned the following numbers: Kaelin Clay (15), Kamrin Moore (29), Antonio Hamilton (30), Mike Jordan (33), Spencer Pulley (77), Mario Edwards (99), and Ukeme Eligwe (57).