Not only will Giants star WR Odell Beckham Jr. not be on the field in Washington this Sunday, but star S Landon Collins won't be able to help the defense after suffering a torn labrum during the team's Week 13 win over the Bears.
In turn, players will need to step up in place of these two key cogs on the Giants. For the defense, veteran Michael Thomas will see some more work next to Curtis Riley to replace Collins. But a Giants rookie in S Sean Chandler will also ramp up his work load as well.
Chandler, an undrafted rookie out of Temple, has already seen more snaps on the defensive end in recent weeks. But that responsibility will only increase with Collins out for the rest of the season.
He's ready to show the Giants what he's got.
'I feel like ever since I've been alive I've had a chip on my shoulder," Chandler told Newsday's Tom Rock. "I always have the motivation to keep going hard. I feel like coming from humble beginnings, not just in football but in life, it gave me that chip on my shoulder. Just to go after everything I ever wanted, and that's to be in the NFL."
Chandler's life began not too far from MetLife Stadium in Camden, NJ, and it wasn't the best of circumstances. Growing up with his mother and two siblings, Chandler's family struggled to find a consistent home, having to use shelters and relatives to seek refuge. He even remembered nights sleeping on the street.
As one would think, Chandler's childhood wasn't something to remember, but he never viewed it that way. In fact, he called it "fun."
"I was just being a kid," he said. "I had a fun childhood. It wasn't really agonizing, but as I got older and saw the things I came from and how I overcame them...I was like, 'Dang, I really did that.'"
Now 22, Chandler has the opportunity of a lifetime to impress his coaches enough to potentially earn a roster spot moving forward. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher will have a keen eye on him to see what he makes of his increased snap count.
"He'll have an opportunity to get more snaps here down the stretch," Bettcher said. "I'm excited for him for that and to see if some of the work that he's put in over the last five to six months can lead to him playing well and earning a role here for us down the stretch."
This is a road Chandler is familiar with, as he had to earn his scholarship to Temple out of Camden High School. He knew what a full scholarship would entail for himself as well as his family.
"I knew that was a way out and I would be able to move my mom out of the circumstances she was living in," he said.
It was either make it in the NFL, or finish with a degree to get a job. Luckily, the Giants called on him after he went undrafted. Chandler impressed in training camp, and the man he is going to split time with in Thomas knew even before camp that he could be an NFL player.
Thomas was a position coach for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, as he was looking for a new home in the NFL himself last January. He saw what Thomas could do on the field, and came away impressed.
"I saw it from then that he's got it," Thomas said. "I'm impressed. I'm proud of him, but I'm not surprised. That's who he is as a player. He works hard, he always makes sure he's where he needs to be, he goes hard every single play, leaves it out there, so I'm happy for him. I'm happy for all his success."
Going hard is Chandler's speciality, an aspect of his game that came naturally. He knew what he needed to fight for, and so far, that fight has paid off. But he knows the work is far from over, which is why he will continue to display his tough style of football this Sunday and the rest of the season.
He can thank his roots for that work ethic.
"I definitely feel like it carries over," he said. "You go through tough things in life and it makes you tougher in football."