New York Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle was bothered during the preseason by knee tendinitis that had him shut down for a while. Randle has been bothered in recent weeks by a hamstring injury suffered Week 5 against the San Francisco 49ers that has limited his practice time and his explosiveness on the field.
"It's still a little sore, but it's better than the past weeks," Randle said Monday when asked about the hamstring. "As much as I can rest it, I try to rest it to allow me to go longer in the game. Just trying to find a way to manage my way around it."
A year ago, Randle had a breakout 71-catch, 938-yard season as an effective, sometimes outstanding, second option in the Giants' passing attack.
This season, his fourth in the NFL, Randle has not been as productive. He is on pace for 64 catches and 754 yards receiving. After being targeted 127 times in 2014 he is on pace for just 91 targets this season. His average yards per catch of 11.8 is the lowest of his career. There have been plays Randle has been unable to make, notably a downfield pass late in the game against the New Orleans Saints that he was unable or unwilling to stretch for.
The Giants, as a team, have struggled to get the ball down the field in the passing attack. Eli Manning has a career-high passer rating of 96.9, but a career-low yards per completion of 10.4. The Giants are averaging 259.9 yards passing per game, down roughly 16 yards from last season. It doesn't sound like much, but we saw Sunday when Alterraum Verner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers jumped a short pass to Odell Beckham Jr. that inability to threaten the field vertically is making things more difficult for the Giants.
With Victor Cruz continuing to be absent from the lineup, tight end Larry Donnell shelved by a neck injury, and Beckham shadowed by a safety over the top almost constantly, the Giants could use some big plays from Randle.
"Probably one more week and then after the bye, hopefully I'll be where I can go out there and play full speed," Randle said.
The Giants will welcome the help.