By Curt Macysyn
Compared to previous years, the late-season version of the 2015 New York Giants injury report pales in comparison to the MASH unit of the previous two seasons. With the long terms injury situations of Victor Cruz, Jon Beason and Will Beatty settled, New York has a fairly good idea of what players will be ready for battle week-to-week.
Since Prince Amukamara and Uani ‘Unga are no longer listed on the injury report, it appears both will be suiting up against the Washington Redskins on Sunday. With the emergence of Jasper Brinkley at middle linebacker, ‘Unga will largely be cast in a supporting role. Amukamara, on the other hand, is a key returnee, as he will take his normal cornerback spot opposite Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Special teams ace Mark Herzlich cannot go, so look for ‘Unga will become more important in that role for the team. For most of the season, the Giants had a solid interior to their offensive line. Injuries to Weston Richburg (high ankle sprain) and Justin Pugh (concussion) are testing the depth of the unit. Pugh has been announced as out, while Richburg is officially listed as doubtful. John Jerry will take over at left guard this weekend against a mediocre Redskins pass rush, so New York should be alright with the line shuffle.
Tight end Larry Donnell continues to have issues with his neck, so rookies Will Tye and Jerome Cunningham will have to fill the void for the Giants. Quarterback Eli Manning has been comfortable throwing a few bones to the tight ends, but in reality, New York should pay more attention to this position on its roster, as all of these tight ends were undrafted free agents out of college.
Getting linebacker J.T. Thomas back from injury may allow defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to shuffle his personnel packages a bit more this week. Against the Patriots, Big Blue employed a fair number of three safety sets, utilizing Craig Dahl in order to contain Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler, as the duo of Landon Collins and Brandon Meriweather have scuffled in pass coverage.
According to Pro Football Focus, linebacker Jonathan Casillas played 72 snaps against the Pats, the most of any Giants defender, while Devon Kennard logged 58 snaps.
J.T. Thomas, LB (Ankle)
Weston Richburg, C (Ankle)
Larry Donnell, TE (Neck)
Mark Herzlich, LB (Quad)
Justin Pugh, OG (Concussion)
Curt Macysyn has been covering the New York Football Giants for the past four seasons for Examiner.com, and he is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA). Born and raised in New Jersey, Curt attended Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, N.J. and is a graduate of Rutgers University – New Brunswick. Follow him on Twitter @CurtMac23 for the latest NFL and New York Giants news.