The New York Giants enjoyed their Week 1 victory, but as coach Brian Daboll said, it’s just one game.
They will look to make it a 2-0 start this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, who lost their opener to the Cleveland Browns on a late field goal. As the team began preparations for Week 2, coach Brian Daboll addressed the media before Wednesday's practice to preview the upcoming opponent and provide the latest injury updates.
Here is what you need to know:
🔹 Daboll announced that cornerback Aaron Robinson, who played 95 percent of the Giants' defensive snaps in Week 1, had his appendix removed and will miss at least this week's game. Fellow cornerback Nick McCloud will also miss practice after suffering a hamstring injury in the opener. The next players up include rookie Cor'Dale Flott, Fabian Moreau (practice squad), Justin Layne, and Zyon Gilbert (practice squad). "We've got a group in there that will work to compete."
🔹 Staying on the injury front, outside linebackers Kayvon Thibodeaux (knee) and Azeez Ojulari (calf) will be limited to start the week. The top two edge rushers were limited all last week before being listed as doubtful on the final injury report and missing Sunday's game. Center Jon Feliciano and safety Jason Pinnock are also limited.
🔹 Rookie wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson, who played just nine snaps in his debut before suffering a knee injury, will also not practice to start the week. But Daboll said Robinson's improvement from the day after the game to today is "pretty significant."
🔹 Safety Dane Belton is full-go, paving the way for his NFL debut. The rookie fourth-round pick had been dealing with a clavicle injury since training camp and missed Week 1.
🔹 Saquon Barkley was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after his 164 rushing yards and 194 yards from scrimmage both topped all NFL players on Kickoff Weekend. Asked about how they will manage Barkley's workload, Daboll said it is not predetermined. It depends on the game plan that week and then the flow of the game. Daboll said Matt Breida "ran the ball well" when he relieved Barkley at times.
🔹 Speaking of dynamic running backs who have dealt with injuries in recent years, the Giants will prepare to face Carolina's Christian McCaffrey, who carried the ball 10 times for 33 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. The former All-Pro also caught four passes for 24 yards. "He's a hard player to cover."
🔹 Coming off the win, Daboll said "staying in the moment" is important for the entire organization this week. According to NFL Research, teams that start 1-0 have made the playoffs 53.5 percent of the time since 1990. The odds increase to 63.0 percent for 2-0 teams.
🔹 Daboll said their "show team" was a "really important factor" last week. He said they will have to do the same again to give them good looks of the Panthers.
🔹 Daboll said they did a "ton of work" in Buffalo on current Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield when he came out of the draft. "I've got a tremendous amount of respect for him. I spent a lot of time with him in the pre-draft process. He's got a very live arm. He's a gamer."
🔹 The Giants started Ben Bredeson at left guard in place of Shane Lemieux, who is on injured reserve, but the veteran rotated in and out with rookie third-round pick Joshua Ezeudu. Daboll said they both "earned the right to play" with their preparation and practice habits. They will see how it goes this week. "It could be the same; it could be different." Daboll said they usually finalize play time Friday evening. Daboll believes in waiting to get a full evaluation of the week before those decisions are made. The process also includes tests for players.
🔹 Daboll said he's looking forward to being on the sideline for the home opener. He likes the drive in before games to get a feel for the fans. "I'm looking forward to having a packed house and them being as loud as they can be third down or when Carolina is on offense." Daboll said they're smart fans and they're part of the team. They can affect the game. "I firmly believe that."
🔹 Daboll liked the cohesion on the sideline during his first game as head coach. "The thing I did appreciate about the guys that weren't playing that were on the sideline or playing maybe not as much as they wanted to play was the support of their teammates – how excited they were talking to the guys on the bench; giving them indicators of what they saw; (Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney) KT running down the field cheering for (Wide Receiver) Richie (James). We kicked the field goal; you see a backflip. Kadarius is six feet up in the air, jumping. And he only played seven snaps. So, that's what we're trying to build. It's not always going to be perfect. I'm certainly not going to be perfect, but the chemistry and the sticking together. We're going to have tough times. We all know that. I think that's a testament to those guys."
View rare photos of the history between the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers.