Thought Monday night’s embarrassing loss was bad enough? Think again.
Starting punter, Steve Weatherford, tore an ankle ligament in the game. Not surprisingly though, in the middle of the game Weatherford was hit. A roughing the passer was called, but that did not fix everything as Weatherford was in visible pain. His ankle was hit and it bent awkwardly, and it appeared he may have broken his ankle.
Shockingly, he pushed through the pain and continued to punt and hold for extra points. He was still clearly hurting as he limped off the field after almost every occasion he had to go on it.
A post game MRI revealed that his sore and swollen ankle was a result of a torn ligament. He will not require surgery though, so the plan is to have him miss a few days of practice and see how he feels late in the week and then try to get a few punts down before game time to play. The Giants reportedly do have contingency plan in place just in case he is not ready to play.
The Giants contacted a few free agent punters about a possible signing on Friday if Weatherford is still feeling pain. Mat McBriar, Zoltan Mesko, and Sav Rocca are possibilities. Weatherford is also the holder for PAT’s and field goals. Ryan Nassib would probably take that duty if needed. Josh Brown also can practice punting if needed.
Weatherford is one of the better punters in the league. In 2010 he kicked 42 balls into the opponents 20 with the New York Jets, an NFL record. He also had the 6th highest average yards per kick last season.
The New York Giants have started off their NFL season just about as calamitous as they could have started. A semi-blocked part, blown coverage on Megatron and an abysmal performance on defense has headlined the catastrophic list.
Jason Pierre-Paul is the latest to be added to that catalog, suffering an apparent neck injury while chasing down Matthew Stafford. He went down clutching his shoulder and is questionable to return.
The 25-year-old missed five games last season.
He looked great in preseason, but was visibly yelling in pain on ESPN’s TV feed.
Pierre-Paul is scheduled to return to the field vs. Lions after X-Rays were negative. He should return for the Giants next defensive sequence.
Giants punter Steve Weatherford has been taken off the field after getting hit following a punt.
Pierre-Paul has returned while Weatherford appeared sluggish following his hold on the extra point kick. Its a good sign to see him out on the field though.
It is never easy to decide who deserves to make a team in the National Football League, even for veteran coaches like Tom Coughlin. Coughlin’s hefty task wasn’t helped out by an abundance of critical position battles in which there were no clear-cut winners.
“There were a lot of good, competitive positions, even going into Thursday night’s game with New England,” Coughlin said. “Many of the young guys were competing, not only for roster spots but for the practice squad. That is an important concept as well. It is in the best interest of the clubs to be able to go to their practice squad, if the need is there, for a player who has been in your meeting rooms the entire summer and fall.”
QB Curtis Painter, FB John Conner, TE Kellen Davis and DE Israel Idonije all had their contracts terminated on Saturday. Painter lost the backup quarterback job to Syracuse alum Ryan Nassib after Nassib appeared impressive in the preseason, leading to a game-winning drive and a couple of successful performances.
“Ryan Nassib made big strides,” Coughlin said. “I think that his third and fourth preseason games were outstanding. You see definite improvement. You see the work that he’s put in. He’s been a very good student and he’s applied that to the field. What I really liked is he did have a poor preseason game and he came back with two good ones. That showed me, he didn’t do it by talking, he did it by working.”
Conner lost the starting fullback job to Henry Hynoski, even though he possesses a superb work ethic and seemed solid in the preseason. “Two very good players,” Coughlin said. “Both guys can play in this league. Very, very close. Both of them are physical. They’ll knock the heck out of you. Utmost respect for John Conner, I think he’s a heck of a player and a great competitor and a good man. He doesn’t say a word, just goes and does his job. Give me all of those you can find.”
Veteran tight end Kellen Davis’s contract was terminated on Saturday, and to much surprise. Davis appeared to be the best blocker of the tight ends competing to make the committee. Daniel Fells, Adrian Robinson and Larry Donnell now compose of the Giants committee. “Hard decisions, they’re very hard decisions,” Coughlin said of the tight ends.
The termination of Idonije’s contract should also come as a big surprise. OT Mark Asper, RB Michael Cox, DB Chandler Fenner, LB Dan Fox, RB Kendall Gaskins, DB Thomas Gordon, OT Adam Gress, DB Bennett Jackson, G Jamaal Johnson-Webb, LB Terrell Manning, DT Kelcie Quarles, DE Jordan Stanton, WR Julian Talley and CB Bennett Jackson were all released from the team.
Veteran wide receivers Mario Manningham (calf) and Trindon Holliday (hamstring) were placed on injured reserve.
Bennett Jackson was the only 2014 Draft pick not to make the roster. It appeared that Coughlin had cut Charles James earlier in the week to clear up a roster spot for Jackson, but with a surplus of studs in their secondary, there was no need.
Kendall Gaskins was released in favor of Peyton Hillis, while Kelcie Quarles didn’t make the team despite a good preseason. Tackle Rogers Gaines (shoulder) was also waived due to injury, and both Guard Eric Herman and Cornerback Jayron Hosley were placed on the reserve/suspended list.
Herman violated the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances and was suspended for four games, and Hosley did the same.
Jon Beason, a key component to the Giants defensive success last season, passed his physical and is on the 53-man roster. Beason has been sidelined since June 12th after he suffered a foot injury during an offseason practice.
This is the Giants 53-man roster, via Giants.com, which is subject to change:
QB (2): Eli Manning, Ryan Nassib
RB (3): Rashad Jennings, Peyton Hillis, Andre Williams
FB (1): Henry Hynoski
WR (6): Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Jerrel Jernigan, Odell Beckham Jr., Preston Parker, Corey Washington
TE (3): Larry Donnell, Daniel Fells, Adrien Robinson
OL (10): Will Beatty, Geoff Schwartz, J.D. Walton, Brandon Mosley, Justin Pugh, John Jerry, Weston Richburg, Charles Brown, James Brewer, Dallas Reynolds
DL (10): Mathias Kiwanuka, Jason Pierre-Paul, Cullen Jenkins, Johnathan Hankins, Robert Ayers Jr., Mike Patterson, Markus Kuhn, Damontre Moore, Jay Bromley, Kerry Wynn
LB (6): Jon Beason, Jameel McClain, Jacquian Williams, Devon Kennard, Spencer Paysinger, Mark Herzlich
DB (9): Prince Amukamara, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown, Walter Thurmond III, Trumaine McBride, Quintin Demps, Nat Berhe, Zack Bowman
Special Teams (3)
Kicker (1): Josh Brown
Punter (1): Steve Weatherford
Long Snapper (1): Zak DeOssie
Football is finally back! Yes, it’s just preseason but, its the beginning of a new season and another opportunity to bring home the hardware. Preseason is also a great time to forget about last season and look forward to the new one. It also gives you a taste of how good or bad your favorite team will be this upcoming season.
This season the New York Giants got the opportunity to play an extra preseason game against the Buffalo Bills and participate in the Hall of Fame Game since Giants Hall of Famer, Michael Strahan and Bills Hall of Famer, Andre Reed were recently inducted into the Hall of Fame.
There were many battles for the Giants coming into this season and one preseason game will not decide if a player makes the roster or not but it does give a good indication if a player has what it takes to make the NFL.
Usually in the Hall of Fame Game starters don’t play the majority of the game, but Tom Coughlin let Eli Manning play the whole first quarter with a total of three possessions. The first offensive possession seemed like the same Giants from last season by going three and out and struggling to move the ball.
The next possession was worse when Eli Manning got hit and stripped of the ball and it was a turnover. Just like the defense did much of last season they once again bailed out the offense and held the Bills to a field goal making it 3-0 Bills.
In the Giants third offensive possession the Giants finally got on a roll and drove down the field with the combination of Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams. Andre Williams punched it in the end zone on the twelfth play of the drive. On this possession everything was clicking and the Giants had that quick, no huddle, and up tempo offense with many shorter routes. The score was now 7-3 Giants heading into the second quarter.
In the second quarter the starters for both teams came out of the game. Back up Bills quarterback Jeff Tuel came in and gave the Bills a 10-7 lead on a fourth and goal touchdown to Robert Woods. Now it’s Ryan Nassib’s turn to play and he set up a 47 yard field goal for Brandon McManus and he connected evening up the score at 10. Late in the quarter Steve Weatherford’s punt was blocked and Buffalo started their drive at the Giants 38.
Duirng the drive, Cooper Taylor intercepted a deflected ball in the end zone keeping the score tied going into halftime.
On Buffalo’s first possession in the third quarter Zack Bowman intercepted Jeff Tuel in the end zone for a touchback. On the next Bills possession Dan Carpenter hit a 51 yard field goal making it 13-10 Bills. There was not much that went on in the third quarter so the score remained the same heading into the final fifteen minutes of the game.
Two plays into the fourth quarter Ryan Nassib hit Corey Washington for a 73 yard touchdown and the Giants took a 17-13 lead. That was Ryan Nassib’s last play of the game and then Curtis Painter took over and the score remained the same for the rest of the game giving the Giants their first win of the preseason.
There were many positives to take out of this game for the Giants. The Giants offense started moving the ball well on the third possession and the no huddle, shotgun offense worked well for the Giants. Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams ran the ball great with a combined total of 71 yards. There were also many screens set up for Rashad Jennings and he did a great job in the open field gaining yards. Eli Manning had a good game going six for seven for a total of 43 yards.
The defense played very well last night especially the secondary. Prince Amukamara did a great job shutting down Sammy Watkins preventing him from making a catch. Zack Bowman also had an impressive game last night. The Giants defense did a great job in the red zone and only gave up one touchdown.
That one touchdown was on a fourth and goal and if it were the regular season the Bills wouldn’t have gone for it and would have settled for a field goal. With Jon Beason returning soon the defense will only get better and that means big things for the Giants this season.