If you’ve been paying attention over the past two days, you
are well aware of the mounting injuries infesting the Giants locker room. The injuries are hampering nearly every
position group and with September fast approaching, the Giants front office has a mess on its hands.
In a matter of days, the organization will be forced to finalize the 53 man roster and thus compile a rough depth chart. The injury to Aaron Ross, cripples the team.
Ross is suffering from plantar fasciitis, the same injury Eli Manning played through (successfully) a year ago. Unfortunately, Manning is far from a scrambling
QB and while it may have been tough to fight through, Manning never had to truly test his injured foot.
Ross depends on his feet to play all three of the positions that the Giants are counting on him for (cornerback, reserve safety,
returner). If Ross needs to miss significant time because his injury precludes him from cutting or running at a fast enough speed,
the Giants will lose another multi-use player of value.
The reserve secondary has been getting outplayed this preseason and the likes of Courtney Brown are not yet fit for an NFL
roster. Subtract Ross from the mix and the Giants may be stuck.
The top 3 safeties, Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips, and Deon Grant are set. Michael Johnson (who will
likely be avoiding surgery) was a solid reserve number four being that he had significant starting experience and a couple of interceptions to his name. Johnson, however, is also battling injury.
This would have of course been remedied if Ross, who can slide to both, safety, nickel, and starting cornerback was available. With both Ross and Johnson out, the depth chart begins to get too fuzzy for the team’s liking. A young defensive back that would have been sent packing may have to be retained.
As seen here:
CB- Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas, Aaron Ross, Bruce Johnson
S- Antrel Rolle, Kenny Phillips, Deon Grant, Michael Johnson
This list provides 8 names (roster spots). Take into account Ross’s versatility and you now have nine players. The Giants
can add a concrete ninth player at either position if they choose after watching the long shots battle it out. This would theoretically bring the total to 10 with only the last man
added being a shaky player.
Ross’s absence is of course felt in other areas as well. If healthy, the PR job is his, and likely the KR spot as well. If unavailable, both jobs are up for grabs between Andre Brown and Tim Brown. Victor Cruz significantly hurt his chances of landing the job after two horrible showings Monday night. DJ Ware is likely lost for most (if not all of the year) after a second career concussion.
If one or both of the jobs isn’t won by Andre Brown, Tim Brown may very well “run away” with the gigs. He has already excelled in this area in practice. Of course, keeping Tim Brown means a roster spot must be reserved.
The Giants are already pushing the envelope at receiver. It stands to reason that Cruz stays but if Brown hangs around too there will be a jam. The most logical solution would be to keep only three running backs since Ware is most likely out of the equation and Gartrell Johnson is less than adequate. The Giants, however, are dedicated to the run.
Compound the situation with the fact that Travis Beckum will unofficially be a receiver (slot receiver) and you are looking at an 8 man receiver group. For those wondering, Ramses Barden is expected back shortly.
All of this trickles down to the Giants being forced to make yet another hard decision. Who does this ultimately hurt? If Ross can’t go,expect a young TE by the name of Scott Chandler to suffer. The Giants wanted to have their cake and eat it too. They wanted to have Beckum and three true TE’S. Unfortunately, if Brown
can’t be sent to the practice squad there is no way that 8 receivers can be carried along with 3 TEs.