Team Giants


Special Report

Sent: 11-10-21

Dave Klein was the Giants' beat writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books and he was one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls up until last year. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.


By Dave Klein
The Giants are officially excused until next Monday, which means, among other things, that they cannot lose a game this weekend.

But the other three teams in the NFC East are all on the schedule, which means the players and coaches will be looking at Dallas (playing Atlanta), Philadelphia (playing Denver) and Washington (playing Tampa Bay).

A three-game sweep would greatly enhance the Giants' slim chances of getting involved in the playoff chase, and if enough "good" results are registered, a record of 8-9 could be exchanged for a playoff spot.

Meanwhile, head coach Joe Judge is hoping that the week off (actually eight days, since they resume hostilities the following Monday in Tampa) will provide enough relaxation time for the return of key injured players such as running back Saquon Barkley, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, offensive tackle Andrew Thomas and linebacker Lorenzo Carter.

"They [Barkley and Thomas] were with the trainers really the majority of yesterday," Judge said via "We had a kind of walkthrough in the beginning as far as going through some different adjustments we were doing as a team. Both guys were active in that. In terms of moving around with the trainers, from our understanding, it was a positive day. It should lead into their opportunity to keep on progressing with the team. "The good thing is we have a little bit of flex time. It's a Monday night game coming out of the bye. They're going to have the remainder of this week to work with us, early next week and the way the schedule will flow, we'll have time to kind of build these guys up and then rest them. We're optimistic about it. We'll see how it comes out of the bye."

Being optimistic is good, of course, but seeing the optimism come true on the field is something Judge and the fans will have to wait for, like eight more days.

"Carter was out here yesterday moving around with the trainers," the coach added. "He's kind of in that same boat as Andrew and Saquon. I think Shep right now is on a little bit different of a timetable in terms of just how we're going to manage his body throughout the week, but he's in the same plan in terms of dealing with the trainers and has a little flex time.
"A lot of these guys, we're going to really get them as much rest as we can. Some of the guys - Saquon, Zo, Andrew - yesterday was a good day to kind of test the waters, get them out here, get them back moving.
"For Saquon, it was important because he missed time last week with the COVID stuff being out of the building. So, everyone's on a little bit of a time track right there. For Shep, he's part of this group of some other guys where we're going to kind of let them have this week to really just get their bodies back as much as possible.
"Rest is good for them. There's still treatment and rehab they're doing internally in house, but in terms of having them on the field, they'll be a little bit different than everybody else this week."

EXTRA POINTS - Safety Xavier McKinney was named NFL Defensive Player of the Week for his two interceptions (one of which he returned 41 yards for a touchdown) against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Coincidentally, the Giants have captured that award in each of their three victories this season. Quarterback Daniel Jones won Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against New Orleans and then kicker Graham Gano took it home for his efforts against the Carolina Panthers.

It should also be noted that McKinney played all 69 defensive snaps for the Giants and recorded seven solo tackles along with his two thefts.

Cornerback Sam Beal, the third choice in the 2018 supplemental draft, was released by the Giants, but since there is an eight-day gap before they play again, there appears to be no hurry to replace him. That will probably happen early next week.

Another team was entered into the rumor mill Wednesday when a report was made public that former Giants' wide receiver Odell Beckham, currently a free agent after his release from the Cleveland Browns, might be interested in joining the rival Philadelphia Eagles.

It's not true, of course, and his "choices" remain Seattle and New England, neither of which is on the Giants' remaining schedule.

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