Former NFL player and current New York Giants analyst Roman Oben posted a fantastic, thought-provoking question on Instagram Thursday morning about the Giants lengthy list of injured players. Here it is:
So, Giants fans, how do you answer that? Which four of those 20 players on IR, could have made the biggest difference in the season for the Giants.
For me, two of those players are absolute no-brainers. Those would be wide receiver Victor Cruz and cornerback Prince Amukamara.
Pairing Cruz and a healthy Odell Beckham is something that can only be dreamed about right now. No offense to Preston Parker, but how much better would the Giants offense be with Cruz and Beckham playing together.
Amukamara was playing the best football of his career. Zack Bowman and Chykie Brown might be OK as fill-ins, but Amukamara is a difference-maker. The Giants counted on an Amukamara-Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie pairing at corner, and no doubt having both healthy would have made a huge difference.
After those two the choices get a bit tougher.
My third choice is offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz. His selection off this list might not be a no-brainer, but for me it is pretty close. In five quarters of play we saw how good Schwartz can be, and how much he can help an offensive line.
Where would I play Schwartz? Well, in this scenario I am naming myself both coach and general manager. I drafted Weston Richburg, so he is playing. In fact, he's playing center. I foolishly handed J.D. Walton a two-year contract, and I'm admitting my mistake here. Richburg's future is at center, so that's where he goes. Schwartz' best position is right guard. See ya later, John Jerry! Left guard? Come on down, Brandon Mosley! James Brewer? If I'm coach AND GM Brewer was off this roster two years ago, and certainly wasn't part of this team after how badly he played a year ago. Mosley? He's gotta be at least as good as Walton or Jerry.
The fourth and final choice in Oben's scenario? This one is not easy, and it depends entirely on your belief in which remaining injured player is the most important. In my eyes, it is a choice between middle linebacker Jon Beason and defensive end Robert Ayers.
My choice? Beason. With apologies to Antrel Rolle, the real leader of the defense -- the real heart and the guy players follow on the field -- was Beason. Athletically he isn't what he used to be, but his intelligence, leadership and his run defense are all irreplaceable with the players on the current roster. Ayers is a quality player, but the combination of Damontre Moore, Kerry Wynn and -- situationally -- Cullen Jenkins can handle that end spot.
So, Giants fans, who are your four choices?