Watching the Giants defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars 22-12 at MetLife Stadium on Saturday night, you would think fans would come away with some positive vibes. Instead, they are holding their collective breath and waiting for more bad news.
Injuries are a part of the business, but for the Giants they have been more than that. They began the summer with the notion that they had resolved their dearth a safety. Sunday morning, they are looking at a nightmare of scenarios after a sprained knee promises to shelve starting safety Bennett Jackson, added to the loss of rookie Justin Currie (fractured ankle).
Throw in Landon Collins' sprained MCL and Cooper Taylor's trick toe and Giants are down in number and quality at safety. Nat Berhe is expected to practice in full this week. He, along with rookie Justin Halley and veteran pickups Brandon Meriweather and Jeromy Miles, are the only safeties left in camp with medical green lights.
As if the defense wasn't pressed hard enough with the absence of DE Jason Pierre-Paul, the team also saw three LBs leave with injuries. Jon Beason (sprained knee), Mark Herzlich (concussion) and Tony Johnson (knee) all went off either limping or shaking their head. After the game, it was reported that Beason's knee injury was not as serious as first thought.
Jameel McClain, battling back from a neck/stinger, jumped into action at MLB and played well. JT Thomas, playing against his former team, had an excellent night with five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Devin Unga, and, naturally, Devon Kennard, also played at a high level again. So, there is some hope here.
“You keep your head up and you just keep playing, that’s the name of the game,” McClain said. “It’s unfortunate. Nobody wants to see either side get injured, but that’s what football is. It’s the next man up, 24/7. Guys stepped up and stepped into place, and the guys that got hurt, they’ll be back. Lord willing, they’ll get themselves right and they’ll come back and we’ll be a stronger team. You do get some strength by having people forced into roles automatically.”
The D-line opened with Cullen Jenkins and Robert Ayers Jr. at DE and Jon Hankins and Markus Kuhn in the middle. The defense allowed the Jaguars just 2.4 yards per carry and only 16 first downs (two by penalty).
Trevin Wade started at CB for Prince Amukamara and continued his solid preseason with a team-high six tackles and pass defensed. DE Damontre Moore had a nice night with two sacks, five tackles and a forced fumble.