By Curt Macysyn
The New York Football Giants (1-2) could not have picked a better time to play the Washington Redskins (1-2) on a short work week. The G-men not only garnered their first victory of the season on Sunday against the Houston Texans, the team also escaped the game with no new injuries, which is no small feat in today’s NFL.
On the other hand, the Washington Redskins lost a hard-fought contest to the Philadelphia Eagles 37-34 on Sunday and accumulated a plethora of injuries that will impact the team for the rest of the year. Veteran cornerback DeAngelo Hall tore his Achilles tendon on Sunday and was placed on season-ending injured reserve, as was safety Duke Ihenacho. Hall was a leader on defense and his loss adversely impacts an already depleted secondary.
New York Giants
Fans of the Brooklyn Dodgers used to say “wait until next year” when the team would lose to the New York Yankees in the World Series. With New York Giants’ rookie wide receiver, Odell Beckham, Jr., the mantra might be “maybe next week.” Once again, Beckham is out again this week with a bum hamstring. Another rookie, linebacker Devon Kennard, also has a bad hamstring, suffered in the loss to the Detroit Lions and will not play against the Redskins. Neither player made the trip to Washington with the team.
One player who did make the trip was linebacker Jon Beason (foot/toe), but the veteran player remains doubtful to suit up on Thursday. The Giants relied on Jameel McClain to fill the middle, and McClain responded with 11 tackles. Punter Steve Weatherford has toughed out a couple games with torn ankle ligaments, and he seems destined to keep kicking on Thursday for the G-men.
Cornerback Zack Bowman’s quad injury does bear watching, after Walter Thurmond II was placed on injured reserve two weeks, the Giants have only kept four cornerbacks on the 53-man roster.
Reserve linemen Charles Brown (shoulder) and James Brewer (back) continue to populate the injury report, but their status is of little consequence to the game’s outcome.
Playing the Thursday game gives a team little to recover physically from the previous contest, even in the best case scenario. But the Redskins list one-third of their roster on the injury report to boot, which is a recipe for disaster. Rookie Bashaud Breeland will start in place of DeAngelo Hall at cornerback, and expect the Giants to test him early and often.
Everyone who follows NFL football knows that quarterback Robert Griffin III is out for several more weeks with a dislocated ankle. His replacement, Kirk Cousins, has played well in relief and is installed as the leader of the offensive unit. Former University of Texas Longhorn Colt McCoy will serve as Cousins’ backup.
Workhorse tailback Alfred Morris (knee) participated fully in practice all week and should be ready to go at kickoff. The same can be said of starting linebacker Keenan Robinson, tackle Tyler Polumbus and kicker Kai Forbath.
Tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring) and linebacker Akeem Jordan (knee) have not played a down so far this season, and both have declared out of this game as well. Veteran cornerback Tracy Porter was signed in the off season to play the slot corner, but has not played so far this season with a lingering hamstring injury. With Hall out of action, the Redskins could certainly use the services of Porter in this game. The team brought up second-year man Chase Minnifield from its practice squad to provide depth at cornerback.
If Kory Lichtensteiger cannot play, then Chris Chester will have to shift to center from right guard, and Spencer Long will replace Chester at guard. The Redskins’ offensive line resembles the revolving door the Giants suffered through last season.
According to Tarik El-Bashir of CSNWashington.com, “Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo will play with a hard cast on his left hand because of a torn ligament in his middle finger. Meantime, starting left guard Shawn Lauvao was limping noticeably on Tuesday. He didn’t finish either of the last two games because of a sprained right knee. His MRI came back clean, according to Gruden, but the joint is swollen and stiff. If Lauvao can’t play, Josh LeRibeus is expected to make his first career start.”
NEW YORK GIANTS
P Steve Weatherford (Ankle)
CB Zack Bowman (Quad)
OT James Brewer (Back)
OT Charles Brown (Shoulder)
LB Jon Beason (Foot/Toe)
WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (Hamstring)
LB Devon Kennard (Hamstring)
LB Brian Orakpo (Finger)
K Kai Forbath (groin)
RB Alfred Morris (knee)
LB Keenan Robinson (shoulder)
OT Tyler Polumbus (knee)
DL Chris Baker (Ankle/Hip)
DE Kedric Golson (Groin)
DE Jason Kearse (Hamstring)
G Shawn Lauvoa (Knee)
WR DeSean Jackson (Shoulder)
DE Frank Kearse (Hamstring)
C Kory Lichtensteiger (Groin/Rib/Hip)
CB Tracy Porter (Hamstring)
S Trenton Robinson (Abdomen)
LB Akeem Jordan (Knee)
QB Robert Griffin III (Ankle)
TE Jordan Reed (Hamstring)
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.