Since signing three weeks ago, Kregg Lumpkin has spent most of his time in the classroom, learning the offense and how to keep his newest teammate Eli Manning upright.
While dressing for the first two games of his Giants career, the running back's biggest test came Sunday in Atlanta.
The depth at the position was called upon when Ahmad Bradshaw was ruled out with a knee injury, slating David Wilson to make his first career start. The rookie quickly piled up 47 yards on six carries in the first quarter, but then the Giants turned to Lumpkin after Manning's second interception.
On their next possession, Lumpkin rushed five times for 40 yards, including a career-long 22-yarder that brought the Giants into Atlanta territory.
"You've got to try to persuade the defense to go one way so you can go the other way and just read off the offensive linemen," Lumpkin said Monday. "And just go from there."
From there, however, the drive stalled on the Giants' first of three unsuccessful fourth-down conversions – a run by Wilson for no gain. Later on, in the third quarter, Lumpkin was targeted on fourth-and-2 from Atlanta's 25, but Manning's pass was knocked down at the line of scrimmage.
"The coaches call the plays, so we as the offense, as players, we've got to out there and make plays," Lumpkin said. "You've got to execute them, and we fell short."
Lumpkin, who lost a fumble on the Giants last offensive possession of the game, finished with nine carries for 42 yards (4.7 average). The Giants had 97 collectively, snapping their streak of consecutive games with at least 100 rushing yards at four.
Meanwhile, Bradshaw, who did not travel with the team to Atlanta, offered any advice to his teammates based on what he saw on TV.
"I've been asked that question by a lot of the guys," Bradshaw said. "Just a couple of pieces missing and just a couple of things we couldn't finish. I just would've liked to be in there."