Analysts and fans alike were expecting a significant free agent signing by the Giants. They expected a veteran QB to add depth. They got a 3-time Pro Bowler. They got OL ShawnAndrews.
While Andrews joining the Giants is a positive, it may also be a sign of bad news. Rich Seubert is still out with a broken hand and Chris Snee is also out of Saturday’s game with a knee injury that’s kept him inside the locker room as camp wraps up.
The Giants have not ruled either starting guard out of the Week 1 matchup against Carolina. However, Andrews is not a reserve caliber player brought in to add emergency depth. In fact, breaking reports indicate that Andrews signed a 6 year deal.
Coming off a back injury that kept him sidelined all of 2009 (and most of2008), Andrews has been declared healthy and ready to return to top form. Due to his recent arrival, it is unclear if he will start (or even play) against Pittsburgh Saturday, but he will almost certainly see first team reps next week.
Aside from missing both starting guards, the Giants have been quite disappointed in Will Beatty’s performance this camp. Heading into August, the Giants believed that sliding David Diehl to the LG and placing Beatty at LT would allow them to recreate the success that the unit enjoyed during 2007 and 2008. Beatty’s lack of progress, coupled with apoor showing Monday night, have led the Giants to believe that starting the UCONN product is not a viable solution.
The long term deal, the injuries, and the poor performance of Beatty all come together to set the stage for a former Eagle to start for New York. Coughlin has indicated that he is not comfortable letting Seubert play (in a game situation) until his hand has healed. Even if he does make it back by Week 1, this is likely his last year as a starter or in the league period.
Snee has no official timetable for a return. The Giants have not seen anything to warrant Beatty or Guy Whimper earning a starting role.
Ideally, if Andrews were to start on September 12th, he would be at LG with Snee returning at RG. Since Snee’s return is not yet decided, that may not be the case. Because of the long term contract, it is safe to assume that Andrews is in the Giants long term plans as a usual starter for the next few years.
-Travis Beckum is expected to play tomorrow night after missing the bulk of training camp due to injury. His use to the Giants remains unclear and his absence from practice doesn’t help his situation. Coaches have openly admitted that they are unsure how they would utilize such an undersized TE in their offensive scheme. The Giants don’t easily dump their draft picks so history suggests that they will find room for him in 2010 if he can show some sign of life tomorrow night. The pressure is on Scott Chandler to make an impact and show the
organization that keeping 3 true TE’s is a much smarter option.
-Good news for Cruz? Often in the NFL one player’s hardship is another player’s gain. Victor Cruz’s break out game against the Jets opened a lot of eyes league wide. More than likely, he has already convinced the Giants to make him a priority. However, the injury to Ramses Barden does not hurt his chances of making the team. Barden may be out a significant amount of time thanks to a back injury. Cruz was battling with Sinorice Moss for the final WR spot. Moss, who is
seemingly battling a new major injury every week, has somehow made the Giants roster for the past 5 years. Barden being laid up only strengthens the new fan favorite’s case. Look for him to see action against starters tomorrow night.