The New York Giants needed to come out in 2016 healthy and hearty, but instead may be poised for another season besieged by key injuries. It may be too soon to tell, but at this rate, they could be headed for another year at the top of the "adjusted games lost" column.
New York led the NFL in adjusted games lost, a metric to evaluate how teams were affected by injuries, for the third straight season in 2015, according to Football Outsiders.
The Giants had a league-high AGL rating of 138.7 in 2015 and 137.1 in 2014. In 2013, their AGL rating was 144.3.
This season, after addressing the secondary in the draft, they are shorthanded once again. Mykkele Thompson, one of the four safeties to make the squad, was recently placed on season-ending injured reserve with a knee injury. Rookie Darian Thompson missed the Redskins game with a sprained foot and could be out for an extended period. He will not require surgery, but the foot will be in a boot for now.
Cornerbacks Eli Apple (hamstring) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (groin) both left Sunday's game and their status is unknown. The Giants are back down to the bare bones at both corner and safety. It was evident in their loss to Washington, surrendering two long touchdown passes and allowing huge chunks of yards.
Their offensive backfield is in similar straits. Rashad Jennings did not dress Sunday, sidelined by a left wrist and thumb injury. His replacement, Shane Vereen, tore a tricep muscle in the loss to the Redskins and will be out two months at the minimum. Jennings probably won't be 100 percent for at least a week or two.
Add those season-ending injuries to the ones suffered by the only two fullbacks on the roster (Nikita Whitlock and Will Johnson) and the Giants are thin in the backfield. They will try to solve this shortage by employing a "committee" approach with Orelans Darkwa, Bobby Rainey and rookie Paul Perkins. All have talent and will now get to put those talents on display.
With any hope, Apple and Rodgers-Cromartie can get back on the field this Monday against the Vikings. The Giants cannot afford to have both players sidelined. At safety, they still have Landon Collins and Nat Berhe, but backups Leon Hall and rookie Andrew Adams don't exactly instill confidence.