New York Giants: odell beckham
"He will have that opportunity," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Wednesday. "He's been in the league. He's very quick. He's played before. He's got a good attitude about it. He's a tough guy, and hopefully he'll make a strong contribution."
Parker made the team as a bench wide receiver and a punt returner because of injuries to punt-return options Beckham and Trindon Holliday. Parker caught one 29-yard pass in relief of Jernigan in Sunday's loss to the Cardinals. He caught 40 passes for 554 yards and three touchdowns as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011, but he played in only two games in 2012 and was out of football last season.
"It's an opportunity," Parker said. "It's an opportunity for me to take advantage of and try and make something happen. I remember I was at that high, and I went through those lows and now I'm back to that high again. You have to appreciate that."
The other options at wide receiver right now are undrafted rookie Corey Washington, who became a preseason cult hero with his 6-foot-4 frame and the four touchdown passes he caught in the exhibition games, and Julian Talley, who was added from the practice squad Tuesday. Parker gets the first shot at replacing Jernigan because of his experience. Washington has been used sparingly, when the team goes to four-wide sets and occasionally at the goal line.
Beckham again worked on a side field Wednesday. There's almost no chance he plays Sunday against Houston, and because the Giants' next game is only four days later, he's not likely to see the field in Week 4 either.
The Giants said Tuesday that Beason might see a foot specialist this week, and obviously if he's not here, there's a chance he's doing that. More to come on that, but in the meantime with Beason and rookie Devon Kennard (hamstring) sitting out practice, the way in which the Giants will arrange their linebackers becomes an interesting question.
Spencer Paysinger and Dan Fox are the backup options on the strong side, but neither is an option for the middle linebacker role.
In other injury news, first-round draft pick Odell Beckham Jr. was sprinting on a side field during practice, but Coughlin said there are no plans for Beckham to practice this week. Since the Giants play a Thursday game in Week 4 and he won't have had time to practice much if at all before then, the rookie wide receiver appears set to miss at least the next two games.
Punter Steve Weatherford also did not appear to be practicing Wednesday, though he missed time last week due to a sprained left ankle and still punted on Sunday.
Not participating in practice were wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring), offensive lineman James Brewer (back), defensive tackle Markus Kuhn (ankle), punter Steve Weatherford (ankle), linebacker Devon Kennard (hamstring) and defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (hip).
The Weatherford, Kennard and Jenkins injuries all happened in Monday's game. Jenkins said he expects to play Sunday but couldn't be sure he'd practice Thursday. If he can't go Sunday, that would leave the Giants very thin at defensive tackle assuming Kuhn is still out.
Kennard said he pulled his right hamstring on the first defensive snap of the game (and of his NFL career) when he caught his cleat on the turf. He has no idea when they'll let him practice.
Weatherford got good news on his sprained ankle. He's got some torn ligaments but won't need surgery, and he's not ruling out the chance he can be on the field Sunday.
Beckham fielded some punts at the beginning of practice, which he didn't do last week, but he didn't run with them and continued to work off to the side while the team practiced.
There were a couple of surprises on the inactives list. First of all, rookie defensive tackle Jay Bromley is inactive. I had thought Bromley would be up as a fourth defensive tackle since Markus Kuhn is out with a shoulder injury, but apparently he's not ready. That leaves the Giants with only three true defensive tackles for what they would normally prefer to be a four-man rotation -- Johnathan Hankins, Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson. The Giants do use defensive ends such as Robert Ayers, Mathias Kiwanuka and even Jason Pierre-Paul on occasion as defensive tackles on passing downs, and it's possible one of those guys could see more snaps than usual on the inside.
Also inactive are offensive linemen Charles Brown (shoulder), James Brewer (back) and Adam Snyder, who was just signed this week. That leaves Dallas Reynolds and Brandon Mosley as the only two backup offensive linemen, and Mosley's missed a lot of practice time recently with a back injury. John Jerry is starting in Mosley's place at right guard and may have just taken over that job due to Mosley's injury anyway. So an injury to one of the starting offensive linemen during Monday's game could be a huge problem.
The full list of inactives:
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
DT Markus Kuhn
OT Charles Brown
OL James Brewer
OL Adam Snyder
DT Jay Bromley
DE Kerry Wynn
@DanGrazianoESPN if JPP has big year, will we have the space to resign him? also, what happened to charles james? #nygmail@DanGrazianoESPN: If defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has a big year, it is absolutely in the Giants' plans to re-sign him as the long-term anchor of their pass rush. That is their ideal situation, and yes, they will have the cap space to do it if they want to. They should be in decent cap shape regardless, with big-number guys like Mathias Kiwanuka and Cullen Jenkins candidates for pay cuts (or outright cuts) in 2015, and a likely contract extension for quarterback Eli Manning would provide more relief. So the ability to sign Pierre-Paul won't be an issue. The only potential issue arises if Pierre-Paul has the kind of year that makes him a poor candidate for a new contract, ala Hakeem Nicks in 2013. The Giants' plan going into last season was to re-sign Nicks if he had a big year. He had a rotten one and fell out of their plans. That situation could repeat itself if Pierre-Paul has more injuries or struggles through his contract year as Nicks did. But Pierre-Paul seems both healthy and motivated, and the Giants' hope is that he proves worthy of a big extension.
— David Lee (@giwook11) September 7, 2014
@DanGrazianoESPN has there been any talk of using Cruz outside & Jernigan in the slot? Don't love it, but JJ seems lost outside #nygmail@DanGrazianoESPN: The Giants' strong preference is to keep wide receiver Victor Cruz in the slot, where he dominates matchups against linebackers and safeties. The new offense should offer Cruz a good opportunity to make plays once he has the ball in his hands, and they made it clear when they drafted Odell Beckham Jr. as an outside speed threat that they like Cruz better in the slot than they do outside. That said, you make a good point about the extent to which Jerrel Jernigan has struggled as Beckham's replacement on the outside. And if Beckham is going to miss a large chunk of the season, they likely have to look at other options there. One of those could be using Cruz on the outside and Jernigan in the slot, but the argument against that is that it weakens the Giants in two spots as opposed to just one. The problem, of course, is the lack of depth on the roster at the wide receiver position and the resultant lack of solutions. Someone -- be it Jernigan or Corey Washington or Preston Parker -- is going to have to play better. Or Beckham is going to have to (a) get healthy and (b) develop rapidly. And, oh by the way, it would be a huge help if Rueben Randle showed up as a consistently reliable option on the other side, which is still yet to be seen. Lots of question marks at that position, and that's one of the major issues facing the Giants as the 2014 season begins.
— Jonathan Kalles (@jkalles) September 6, 2014
Enjoy the first Sunday of NFL football, and I'll chat with you Monday from Detroit.
None of that is a surprise, since the injuries kept those players from practicing all week and they're not prepared to play even if they were to be healthy enough by Monday. Beckham hasn't had a full practice since organized team activities due to hamstring problems and is likely still at least a few weeks away from playing. In his place, Jerrel Jernigan is likely to play on the outside when the Giants are in their three-receiver sets. Victor Cruz would be in the slot and Rueben Randle on the outside opposite Jernigan.
Kuhn's absence shortens the defensive tackle rotation and could mean more plays than originally anticipated for third-round rookie Jay Bromley behind starters Johnathan Hankins and Cullen Jenkins and reserve Mike Patterson. The Giants' preference is to rotate four at that position.
Brewer was unlikely to see action even if healthy, but his absence makes it more likely that the Giants would turn to newly-signed offensive lineman Adam Snyder if they had an injury to a starter on the offensive line.
Linebacker Jon Beason (foot), tackle Charles Brown (shoulder) and guard Brandon Mosley (back) all are listed as probable for the game. I'd expect Beason to start at middle linebacker, but likely not to handle a full starter's workload. He missed all of training camp while rehabbing his foot injury from June and only returned to practice last week. Mosley was the starting right guard in camp but may have lost that job to John Jerry, who's more likely to start at right guard Monday at this point.
@DanGrazianoESPN: I expect the Giants' run game to lean heavily on Rashad Jennings in the early going, with rookie Andre Williams serving as the primary backup while Williams gets up to speed. I'm curious, as everyone is, what happens when they get close to the goal line? Will they stick with Jennings or switch up to Williams or Peyton Hillis for the dirty work? Jennings can surely handle it, but if they're asking a starter's workload of him otherwise, they may assign the goal line banging to Hillis for the sake of preserving Jennings and/or Williams. It's also possible the Giants will throw more in the red zone than they did under their previous offensive coordinator, though they're not exactly loaded with classic options at red zone receiver or tight end. But as far as the workload, I think Jennings is the bell cow to start and Williams has to play his way into more carries. I think he's capable of doing so, and that he's excellent with the ball in his hands. But in order to truly eat into Jennings' snaps, Williams is going to have to show he can reliably catch the ball and pick up the blitz in pass protection.
@DanGrazianoESPN: Not really, but I think it's a mistake to think that Eli Manning's troubles in the preseason were tied to the new offensive system. I think Manning is capable of picking up and running Ben McAdoo's offense in short order. The issues have to do with the group around him -- substandard personnel on the offensive line and at wide receiver and tight end. Last year showed that Manning gets shaky when the group around him crumbles, and I think the preseason problems showed a bit of a repeat of that. The Giants have crowed about how well they protected the ball in preseason, but there were definitely a couple of rotten near-interceptions that got called back due to penalties but certainly count among large Manning mistakes. The one time the passing game looked good was in that two-minute drive at the end of the first half against the Jets, when they were in the no-huddle the whole time. And I think you will see a lot of no-huddle this season, and I think it's encouraging that Manning looked to be in command when they were running it. But again, it comes down to how well they can protect him and the ability of his receivers to get open and catch the ball.
@DanGrazianoESPN: No, I do not currently expect rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham to participate in games in September. I think, if he does, it'll be a surprise. Even if his hamstring is magically better next week, this is still a rookie who didn't have one single full training camp practice. The Giants' coaching staff likes Beckham and what he brings, but even once he's healthy (which is likely to be another couple of weeks yet), they're going to need to see him practice for a week or so before putting him into a game.
@DanGrazianoESPN: I think Preston Parker is the most likely guy to be cut, yes, once Beckham is healthy enough to play receiver and return punts. I think Parker made the team largely because Beckham wasn't healthy enough to do those things, especially the second. But, obviously, things can change, and if Parker should outplay some of the other receivers in the meantime, there's no reason he can't stick. As for the second part of your question, I can't answer for anyone else, but I kind of project the Cowboys and the Giants to both be puttering around that 7-9, 8-8 neighborhood. Dallas looks as though it has an excellent, explosive offense and a possibly disastrous defense. The Giants look as though they have a solid defense and a possibly disastrous offense. I don't think it's crazy to pick either team over the other, and I don't expect either to be contenders. But again, just my opinion. Can't answer for those of other people.
Thanks for the questions!
Beckham ran the length of a football field several times, although not nearly at full speed. He also caught passes after doing some light cutting, again at less than full speed.
Defensive tackle Markus Kuhn (ankle) was sitting out practice for a second consecutive day. But offensive linemen James Brewer (back), who sat out Thursday, was on the field during the portion of practice open to the media.
Also back on the field were linebacker Jon Beason (foot), and offensive linemen Brandon Mosley (back) and Charles Brown (shoulder), who were limited Thursday.
The Giants have signed my client, TE Jerome Cunningham @Coco_Loco86 to their Practice Squad. Congrats Jerome, hard work pays off!— Pro Football Mgmt (@HowardShatsky) September 2, 2014
The Giants liked Cunningham, who signed after the start of camp, and believe he could develop into a contributor at a position of significant need for them at some point this season. They initially planned to keep four tight ends on their active roster, but they only ended up keeping three after cutting veteran Kellen Davis on Saturday. So it's not certain they'd need an injury to Larry Donnell, Adrien Robinson or Daniel Fells to put Cunningham on the roster.
The Giants ended up keeping six wide receivers, largely because of the injury that continues to sideline first-round pick Odell Beckham Jr. Once Beckham is healthy, the Giants likely can get by with five wide receivers (of whom Beckham would be one), and if they wanted to go back to four tight ends at that time they could add Cunningham.
The addition of Cunningham brings the number of players on the Giants' practice squad to nine. They are allowed up to 10. They had several players in for workouts Tuesday to try out for the final spots. One of those players was Ball State wide receiver Willie Snead, who spent training camp with the Cleveland Browns.
At this point, with only three more practices left before next Monday night's regular-season opener in Detroit, it's hard to imagine Beckham playing in Week 1. It's not impossible to think he could practice in full Thursday, Friday and Saturday and be cleared to play, but it's not likely Tom Coughlin and the Giants' coaching staff would deem three practices enough to put a rookie wide receiver on the field for a game that counts.
Beason has been hoping since he injured his foot in OTAs to play in Week 1, and barring a setback this week it appears he will. The Giants likely will evaluate Beason as the week goes on and determine how much he'll be able to play in the opener. If he has to take a reduced workload, they are confident with Jameel McClain filling in for him at middle linebacker and Devon Kennard starting on the strong side in McClain's place.
Cornerback Prince Amukamara (groin) and offensive linemen James Brewer (back) and Charles Brown (shoulder) all appeared to be back and practicing in full. Guard Brandon Mosley (back) was working on the side with trainers, which means John Jerry is likely to start at right guard in the opener.
The Giants used Manningham a fair bit with their first-team offense in Friday night's preseason game against the Jets, and they're likely to give him a good look in Thursday's preseason finale against the Patriots. First-round pick Odell Beckham Jr. missed all of training camp with a hamstring injury and is unlikely to be ready for the Sept. 8 season opener, camp star Marcus Harris was placed on injured reserve Tuesday and there remain some open spots on the roster at wide receiver.
"Any of the guys who are left know it goes from 75 to 53," Coughlin said. "You're ending up in a numbers game, and it is competitive."
Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and Beckham are sure things to make the roster at wide receiver. Jerrel Jernigan, who's been running with the first team in Beckham's place all summer, looks like a strong bet as well, especially since he's Cruz's primary backup at the slot receiver position. Undrafted rookie Corey Washington has caught a touchdown pass in each of the Giants' first four preseason games and has obviously helped his cause. Preston Parker, who caught 40 passes for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011 but was out of football last season, appears to be the primary punt returner right now with Beckham and Trindon Holliday hurt, and that could help him earn a spot as a wide receiver as well. Julian Talley also survived Tuesday's cuts and therefore remains a candidate to be kept.
The Giants are likely to keep four tight ends when they cut the roster to 53 on Saturday, which might make it tough to keep six wide receivers, but if they need Parker for punt returns (or as a reserve wideout) while Beckham gets healthy, they may not have a choice.
Regardless, the numbers game doesn't seem to favor Manningham unless he blows the Giants away with a strong showing Thursday night. Maybe the fact the opponent is the Patriots, the team against which Manningham's career highlight came, will inspire him before it's too late.
"He's up and moving, so obviously that's a good sign," Coughlin said of Mosley, who's been the first-team right guard since Chris Snee retired on the eve of training camp.
The Giants got good news Tuesday when they learned Schwartz would not need surgery, but it remains unclear how much time they can expect him to miss.
"He's very optimistic, and hopefully that's going to mean the recovery will be as fast as possible," Coughlin said of Schwartz. "Obviously, we can't rush him back. It certainly would be good to get him back as soon as possible, but it's not going to be easy."
In other Giants injury news:
- First-round pick Odell Beckham Jr. and kick returner Trindon Holliday missed practice again with hamstring injuries. Tackle Charles Brown and tackle/guard James Brewer sat out with shoulder and back injuries, respectively.
- Cornerback Prince Amukamara is making good progress in his return from a groin injury, but he won't play Thursday night.
- Running back Peyton Hillis appeared to be practicing in full. Hillis missed a few weeks of camp with an ankle injury but has returned to practice this week. He made a nice juggling catch on a wheel route with Jacquian Williams covering him in practice Tuesday.
"He's not going to play," an obviously frustrated Giants coach Tom Coughlin said after Monday's practice, during which Beckham once again worked on a side field with the training staff. "Have you seen him practice? How about practicing first?"
Beckham's last full training camp practice was when he was still at LSU. He injured his hamstring in the first practice of Giants training camp July 22 and hasn't practiced in full with the team since. He returned to the field a bit a couple of weeks ago and was working his way into 11-on-11 drills, but then he hurt himself in practice again last Monday and hasn't practiced since.
"I think he's very frustrated," Coughlin said. "I think his whole personality's held in check because he's not able to do the things that he wants to do."
With Beckham out, the Giants have been using Jerrel Jernigan in his outside receiver spot. It's possible that preseason star Corey Washington could get a look there with the first team Thursday, but we thought that was possible last week and Washington didn't play until the fourth quarter against the Jets.
Obviously, Beckham's availability for the Sept. 8 "Monday Night Football" opener in Detroit is in serious doubt. The Giants don't like to rush rookies into action in the first place, and that's especially true when the rookie hasn't had a training camp.
In other Giants injury news:
- Guard Geoff Schwartz was seeing a foot specialist Monday to determine the severity of his toe injury. The Giants should have news on Schwartz at some point early this week, but it's safe to assume he'll have to miss at least the first few games of the regular season, if not many more.
- Guard Brandon Mosley missed a second straight day of practice due to a back injury and was getting examined by a doctor, according to Coughlin. John Jerry played with the first-team line in Mosley's right guard spot while rookie Weston Richburg manned Schwartz's left guard spot.
- Offensive lineman James Brewer remains out with a back injury, which could damage his chances of making the 53-man roster. Brewer was on the bubble to begin with.
- Return specialist Trindon Holliday also sat out of practice with a hamstring injury. Holliday did some individual work Sunday but did not appear to work at all Monday. With Holliday and Beckham both sidelined, the Giants are hurting at punt returner and may keep wide receiver Preston Parker because has experience in that role.
RUNNING BACKS (4)
Hillis' sprained ankle could help Gaskins and Michael Cox make the team if it lingers, but if they're picking between Cox and Gaskins for that fourth spot, Gaskins looks like the better player so far in camp. Tom Coughlin also keeps saying that the fullbacks can play running back, and they have been using Henry Hynoski all over the formation in practice, so it's possible they could carry just three here, especially if they can get Gaskins on the practice squad.
It's a camp battle between Hynoski and John Conner, and I don't think the Giants will keep both. There was even some talk early in camp that they could go without a fullback, but the continued poor showing by the tight ends likely has put that to bed.
WIDE RECEIVERS (6)
Marcus Harris is ahead of both Washington and Parker, but he injured his shoulder Friday night and is likely to miss the start of the season, if not more. Parker sneaks onto the list this week because (a) with Beckham's hamstring injury continuing to be a problem, they may need to carry six wide receivers just to have five and (b) Parker is the primary punt returner right now with Beckham and Trindon Holliday laid up.
TIGHT ENDS (4)
Donnell, Davis and Robinson each got exactly 14 snaps in the first half Friday night, and Robinson was the only tight end in the game on the successful two-minute drill at the end of the first half. What's it all mean? Really just that no one has separated himself in this group. Davis was the starter ahead of Donnell for the first time Friday, but there's still no clarity on this situation.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)
- J.D. Walton
- Weston Richburg
- Will Beatty
- Justin Pugh
- Charles Brown
- Brandon Mosley
- John Jerry
- James Brewer
- Dallas Reynolds
DEFENSIVE LINE (9)
- Jason Pierre-Paul
- Mathias Kiwanuka
- Robert Ayers
- Markus Kuhn
- Mike Patterson
- Johnathan Hankins
- Jay Bromley
- Damontre Moore
- Cullen Jenkins
Very few changes here, though if Kuhn's leg injury ends up costing him practice time, it could open up a spot for someone like defensive end Kerry Wynn to make the team. Bromley has looked surprisingly good in games so far and could slide in for Kuhn in the defensive tackle rotation for the short term.
Kennard has been so good so far that, if they only keep five, you wonder about Paysinger's spot a little bit. Williams is the starter at the weakside spot, even in the base defense, as long as he can stay healthy. And Kennard is a first-teamer right now on the strong side, with McClain manning the middle in place of the injured Beason. I wonder if Kennard could keep the spot ahead of McClain even once Beason comes back. Herzlich is on the squad for special teams, where he has great value.
It helps the numbers that Jayron Hosley will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season for a drug violation. If he does make the team, the Giants will have to clear a spot for him in Week 5. This group could also swell if the Giants decide they need to keep sixth-round pick Bennett Jackson and/or Charles James for special teams. It's going to be tough to make the Giants' roster as a corner this summer, though recent injuries to Amukamara and Bowman could result in a short-term spot opening.
Cooper Taylor's toe injury is serious enough to keep him out for a long time, possibly even the whole season. That's unfortunate for Taylor, but it helps Berhe and likely helps someone at another position, such as Charles James at cornerback or Adrien Robinson at tight end. The Giants like to have a balanced roster -- 25 offensive players, 25 defensive and three specialists -- but that's not a requirement.
Brown isn't home-free yet, as Brandon McManus is hitting bombs in practice and has shown well in games. But Brown hasn't done anything to lose his spot, and as long as he remains reliable, my bet is he keeps it.
"His back tightened up," Giants coach Tom Coughlin explained after practice. "He came out here ready to go, but then he couldn't."
As a result, John Jerry worked at right guard with the first-team offensive line while Weston Richburg, the most likely long-term replacement for Schwartz, worked at left guard. The Giants have major problems in this area, as detailed here earlier Sunday. Coughlin offered no insight on how long Mosley could be expected to be out.
Some other notes from Coughlin and Sunday's practice:
- From the My God This Could Be Even Worse Than We Think Department: Coughlin was asked what he thought of left tackle Will Beatty's performance Friday and he said Beatty was working very hard every day in practice. Asked if he was happy with Beatty's work since returning from his injury, Coughlin said this: "'Happy' and 'satisfied' are not the words I would use to describe it, but I do recognize the progress and I do recognize that he's working hard at his trade." All righty, then.
- Matter of fact, let's just keep profiling Coughlin quotes. This one on rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who missed yet another practice with a hamstring injury: "I would like to see the young man practice before we start talking about him playing in the regular season. That would be a good thing."
- Running back Peyton Hillis returned to practice after missing a couple of weeks with an ankle injury, and Coughlin described him as "rusty." Return man Trindon Holliday also did some work in punt return and individual drills but remains hobbled a bit by his own hamstring problems. Cornerback Prince Amukamara worked on the side with trainers as he continues to deal with a groin injury.
- Yes, Ryan Nassib did work some at quarterback with the first-team offense in Sunday's practice. No, there's obviously no chance they're considering any kind of change. Nassib is certainly going to get a lot more work in Thursday night's preseason finale than Eli Manning is, and that's why he's practicing more this week. The third-teamers spent more time on the field Sunday than the first-teamers did for similar reasons.