Injuries to Shane Lemieux, Jamil Douglas sting already thin Giants O-line – The Denver Post


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Injuries to Giants guards Shane Lemieux and Jamil Douglas may have decimated the depth of an already thin offensive line.

Lemieux, the club’s starting left guard, suffered a toe injury during the game’s first series. He needed a walking boot to stand on the sideline after.

And Douglas, a free agent signing at second-string right guard, hurt his ankle in the second quarter and didn’t return to the sideline for the second half.

Rookie corner Cor’Dale Flott (groin) also got hurt after playing both outside and inside in his NFL preseason debut. And that’s a position where the Giants are paper thin, as well.

Giants head coach Brian Daboll said he had no update on any of those players during a Friday afternoon Zoom call.

Giants GM Joe Schoen was cognizant of losing some key pieces while joining the in-game broadcast Thursday.

“The biggest thing for me was trying to get out injury free really is what I wanted, but looks like we might have had one or two already,” Schoen said. “But seeing some of these young players perform is exciting, some of the guys you drafted and some of the guys that were undrafted stepping up and making plays.”

Daboll said postgame of his offensive line and secondary: “I always think you can use as much depth as you can get. But those guys who came in relatively new up front really did a good job… And you can never have too many corners. But the guys that competed, I thought they did a good job.”

Second-string center Ben Bredeson has been the team’s best reserve lineman this training camp. He was good again Thursday, so that’s a plus.

The Giants have high expectations for rookie guard Josh Ezeudu, but he’s experienced natural growing pains amid some positive flashes so far.

The Giants ran the ball well as a team Thursday, with 33 carries for 177 yards (5.4 average), led by Antonio Williams’ 61 yards and a TD on nine carries and Gary Brightwell’s 40 yards on seven runs.

But Daniel Jones was hit four times in the backfield on 12 dropbacks during his two possessions. There were too many free runners at the Giants’ first-string quarterback.

And they are short on surefire, NFL starter-caliber linemen to plug any holes up front when the real games start.

Plus, it’s also important to note that left tackle Andrew Thomas was limited to only one series for rest purposes on Thursday.

He said his surgically-repaired left ankle is OK as he left Gillette Stadium postgame, but Thomas has labored some in recent practices and that is definitely something to monitor.

“I’m hoping to keep the depth [on the O-line],” Schoen said, referencing recent injuries to rookie tackle Marcus McKethan (ACL) and Lemieux. “There’s gonna be roster attrition throughout the season. Injuries are gonna occur. So it’s important to make sure you have good depth at all positions really so you can plug and play … and still be able to function and be competitive.”

It was at least encouraging to hear Jones say he wasn’t worried about his neck while taking hits coming off last year’s injury.

“It felt good to get out there and it was just like it used to be,” he said. “That’s football, right? That’s football and I felt good out there. I didn’t think a whole lot about the neck or anything like that. I felt good and it was just football.”

The Giants would rather he not take hits, though. And the more linemen they lose, the harder it will be to make sure that doesn’t happen.

That’s why Schoen said the “personnel staff will be really busy the next three weeks. 1,300 players will be available that aren’t currently available by the time final cuts come in.

“We’ll be scouring all the rosters throughout the league and looking to upgrade anybody we can at any position,” he said.


The Patriots showed no mercy on starting Giants corner Aaron Robinson on New England’s second drive, attacking a clear area of concern in Wink Martindale’s defense.

New England rested top QB Mac Jones and several other starters, but backup QB Brian Hoyer peppered Robinson for a 33-yard completion to Kristian Wilkerson and a 2-yard TD to Tyquan Thornton that drew a holding flag on the Giants’ CB.

Robinson broke up a third-down pass in the end zone that could have forced a field goal, but then he was whistled for taunting.

The second-year player said he’s “expecting” to be targeted opposite the more experienced Adoree Jackson and “you gotta embrace it.”

“It’s part of the game, but with that comes plays being made,” Robinson said. “They’re football players just like I am. I learn from it and move from there.”

He said he could have had “better technique at the line of scrimmage” on Wilkerson’s deep reception and anticipated the throw better. But it was a “great ball” and “great play made” by Wilkerson.

As for the taunting penalty, he called it a “learning experience” getting caught up in the “moment.”

“Now I know,” he said.


Daboll called on Austrian RB Sandro Platzgummer, a third-year international pathway program player, to take the Giants home on the game-winning drive. And he delivered with 21 yards on three carries, gaining 15 on his first touch.

“I wanted to make sure that everybody that came on the trip had an opportunity to play,” Daboll said. “That’s not the easiest situation either when they’re trying to rip at the ball, and you’re not loose, and you warmed up. He is such a good young man. I was happy for him. I think his teammates were, too.”

Saquon Barkley was jumping around on the sideline on Platzgummer’s big run.

“When you see a guy, who puts a lot of hard work in, get on the field and make a play in a critical situation…,” Barkley said with a smile. “Sandro just brings a smile to everybody’s face. So we’re all excited for him.”

Platzgummer actually told me he thought he might have been able to score, or challenge for the end zone, on his last carry. But he knew he couldn’t risk going out of bounds, because the object was to wind the clock down and maintain possession.

He figures that’s how he’ll get more opportunities: by showing the coaches they can trust him.

“You’ve gotta earn the trust first,” Platzgummer said. “In that situation, if I fumble, we lose the game. So I guess I kind of earned that a little bit.”

Daboll had Platzgummer break the team down in the locker room after the win, too.


Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka wasn’t on the sideline Thursday. He called the plays from a booth upstairs instead. Daboll did the same thing when he was the Buffalo Bills’ OC with Josh Allen.

“I thought that was the best spot,” Daboll said of Kafka’s placement. “I called the plays upstairs [in Buffalo]. We’ll see what we do [next] week against Cincinnati. It was a good operation.”


Daboll said wide receiver Kadarius Toney has an “injury,” and the hope was that some time off would “calm it down.” So he didn’t even make the trip to Foxborough. Toney was often injured, sick or out as a rookie. He had an offseason procedure that limited his spring work. And he’s been limited or dialed back in four of 11 practices to date.


Daboll said Barkley was “good” In his first couple carries. “I thought he hit the ball downhill, didn’t dance,” the coach said. Clearly that’s been a coaching point. … Daboll also said that Jones’ third down incompletion to Kenny Golladay was “a little bit low,” even though most viewers had interpreted it as a Golladay drop. … Wide receiver Collin Johnson led the team with seven catches for 82 yards working with both Jones and Tyrod Taylor, but he also had a drop and a lost fumble. He’s had a great training camp. He just has to keep the ball off the turf. … Daboll challenged a Patriots catch near the sideline in the fourth quarter, but the play was upheld. “I lost the challenge,” Daboll said. “I was upset about that.” … Giants LB Austin Calitro jumped a slant route and intercepted Patriots rookie QB Bailey Zappe to set up a Graham Gano 40-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, but later Calitro committed a 15-yard facemask penalty to help New England advance on a touchdown drive to take a late 21-20 lead. … Zappe, out of Western Kentucky, was throwing tons of back shoulder fades on the Giants’ outside corners. He finished 19 of 32 with 205 yards, one TD to Lil’Jordan Humphrey on a terrific blitz read, and the INT. … Safety Trenton Thompson had a sack, and edge Elerson Smith had a QB hit to nearly force a safety. … Tight end Chris Myarick made a great special teams tackle on a late Patriots punt return. … Third-string QB Davis Webb was 8 of 16 for 51 yards, capped by a 15-yard completion to tight end Austin Allen on the game-winning drive. Webb also chewed out WR Keelan Doss after a third down incompletion earlier in the half, though, which wasn’t a great look. … On special teams, rookie Jashaun Corbin had a 34-yard kick return. But the punt coverage team also surrendered a 30-yard punt return in the first quarter to the Patriots’ Myles Bryant.


“We can’t get comfortable. We’ve got a lot of work to do.” — edge rusher Jihad Ward



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