By Curt Macysyn
The New York Giants dealt with a brittle offensive line in 2013, and the team appears to have the same problem occurring this season, even before a single regular season game is played. In addition, first round draft pick Odell Beckham, Jr. has not seen the field in a meaningful way, so an expected big part of their offense will be unavailable as they face the Detroit Lions on Monday night.
Speedster David Wilson was forced to retire from football last month because of reoccurring issues related to neck surgery he underwent in the off season. Wilson’s retirement thinned out a running back corps and also removes a kickoff return threat from the fold for Big Blue.
For the Lions, Kyle Van Noy, an impact rookie linebacker, underwent sports hernia surgery this week, and was placed on the injured reserve – designated for return list and will be unavailable for game action for the next eight weeks. Safeties James Ihedigbo and Don Carey did not play against the Buffalo Bills in their final preseason contest due to undisclosed injuries.
New York Giants
The New York Football Giants, already reeling from a pair of successive non-playoff season, will begin their 90th campaign in the NFL without a top free agent pickup. Offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, signed away from the Kansas City Chiefs, dislocated his toe against the New York Jets in game four of the preseason. The G-men placed Schwartz on the injured reserve – designated for return list on Wednesday. In a statement released by the team, “(Schwartz) will be eligible to practice six weeks from Sept. 3 and return to game action in eight weeks, meaning his first possible game will be two months from Sept. 3 against Indianapolis.”
In a related move, the Giants signed free agent offensive lineman Adam Snyder, who was cut by the San Francisco 49ers as NFL rosters were trimmed to 53 players last week. According to the Giants, “Snyder entered the NFL as a third-round draft choice by the 49ers in 2005. He has played in 137 regular-season games with 87 starts – 28 at right guard, 21 at both right and left tackle, 14 at left guard and three at center. Snyder has also played in five postseason games with two starts. He has played in all 16 games in a season five times, and he started every game in 2009. Snyder was San Francisco’s starting right guard in the 2011 NFC Championship Game vs. the Giants.”
The Giants depth chart lists rookie Weston Richburg as the Schwartz’s replacement. The injury to Schwartz is not the only offensive line concern for New York. Starting left tackle, Will Beatty, appears less than 100 percent after sustaining a broken leg in last season’s finale against Washington. Beatty’s workload has steadily increased, but he still missed most of the OTAs and mini-camp and was a limited participant in the early stages of training camp. Beatty’s backup, Charles Brown, is another bargain basement pickup by Giants’ general manager Jerry Reese. In addition to being generally ineffective, Brown is nursing a shoulder injury.
New starting right guard Brandon Mosley missed last week’s preseason game against the New England Patriots with a balky back. If he cannot go, then free agent acquisition John Jerry will be thrust. Jerry, who came to New York via the Miami Dolphins, has be slow to recover from off season knee surgery himself.
Starting middle linebacker Jon Beason missed the entire preseason with a broken foot, but has practiced with the team this week. Free agent pickup Jameel McClain took Beason’s place in the middle, giving rookie Devon Kennard plenty of action on the outside.
The Lions appears to be in pretty good shape entering the contest, only rookie linebacker Kyle Van Noy (sports hernia) is out. Van Noy was Detroit’s second round selection in the 2014 NFL draft and had probably earned a starting position. Tahir Whitehead will take Van Noy’s spot in the lineup, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
The Lions replaced Louis Delmas with Jame Ihedigbo at the strong safety position, and Ihedigbo is known more as a run stopper than pass defender. He is dealing with knee and neck injuries sustained in the preseason. Reserve safety Don Carey has a pulled hamstring and has not practiced all week. Jerome Couplin would have to step in for Ihedigbo in case he cannot go, but the veteran safety was able to be a limited participant at practice for the Lions on Friday.
New York Giants
LB Jon Beason (Foot)
OG Brandon Mosley (Back)
OT Charles Brown (Shoulder)
OT James Brewer (Back)
DT Markus Kuhn (Ankle)
OG Geoff Schwartz (Toe/IR-DR)
S Cooper Taylor (Foot/IR)
WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (Hamstring)
WR Marcus Harris (Hip/IR)
RB David Wilson (Neck/Retired)
DT Caraun Reid (Shoulder)
S Don Carey (Hamstring)
S James Ihedigbo (Knee/Neck)
LB Kyle Van Noy (Hernia/IR-DR)
For more Giants news and updates, visit Giants Central.
Curt Macysyn has been covering the New York Football Giants for the past two seasons for Examiner.com. Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Curt has followed and covered the New York Metropolitan sports scene for 35 years. He attended Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, NJ and is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick. His work can be found on aExaminer.com.