A Kayvon Thibodeaux injury scare overshadowed Sunday night’s encouraging Giants touchdown drive directed by Daniel Jones.
The No. 5 overall pick had his right knee buckled on a low block by Bengals tight end Thaddeus Moss in the second quarter of the Giants’ second preseason game.
Thibodeaux stayed down on the MetLife Stadium turf, grabbed his right knee and grimaced.
When the cart came out for Thibodeaux, he at least stood up and walked slowly past it to the Giants’ sideline and into the medical tent.
But when he emerged, he said a few passing words to some teammates on the sideline, then left for the locker room with a team trainer. He was officially ruled out for the rest of the game with a “knee” injury.
The scary sight of seeing Thibodeaux lying on the turf cast a shadow over the biggest plus of the night: Jones’ first preseason touchdown drive.
Jones completed eight straight passes on the drive and pumped his fist as rookie running back Jashaun Corbin plunged into the end zone for a 2-yard TD run and a 7-3 lead.
Jones hit on 8-of-9 passes for 78 yards on the 11-play, 84-yard scoring drive that straddled the first and second quarters. He did it without Saquon Barkley, whom coach Brian Daboll held out. And he did it despite disappointing finishes to the Giants’ first two possessions.
The Giants’ first drive had stalled on a 4th and 1 Antonio Williams run that the Bengals stood up at Cincinnati’s 48-yard line.
Jones’ second drive had ended with an interception by Bengals safety Dax Hill on a pass that tipped off the hands of tight end Daniel Bellinger. Hill returned it to the Bengals’ 49.
But Jones responded with the help of wide receiver David Sills, his offseason training buddy making his first preseason appearance after missing the New England opener.
Sills caught three passes for 46 yards on the drive, including a beautiful 20-yard back shoulder throw and catch up the left side.
Collin Johnson, Williams (two), Bellinger and rookie Wan’Dale Robinson also caught passes. Robinson’s was a pop pass in the backfield, but it still counts.
Jones’ final stat line was a breath of fresh air even with the turnover, completing 14 of 16 passes for 116 yards and directing that touchdown drive—albeit against the Bengals’ backups.
Unfortunately, the Giants’ kickoff coverage team followed Corbin’s touchdown by surrendering a 73-yard return to Cincinnati’s Chris Evans.
And kicker Graham Gano, after trying to tackle Evans, soon was being evaluated for a concussion. Kick returner C.J. Board, who’d had a 57-yard kick return wiped out earlier by an Oshane Ximines holding penalty, then fumbled the Giants’ next kickoff away to the Bengals.
Left tackle Andrew Thomas played one quarter and then came out of the game. That was in the middle of Jones’ touchdown drive. The pass protection was good when Jones was in the game, despite rampant injuries up front.
Max Garcia, a third-string guard at the beginning of camp, started at center, with Devery Hamilton at left guard. Hamilton kicked out to left tackle when Thomas left, and Will Holden came in at left guard. Evan Neal and Mark Glowinski manned the right tackle and guard spots.
Tyrod Taylor replaced Jones after three series and got some work in behind parts of the first-team and second-team offensive lines. The Bengals took a 9-7 lead into halftime on three field goals by kicker Evan McPherson.