We turned to our Facebook friends for Big Blue View Mailbag questions this week. What we got are questions that fell into multiple categories, so this week's mailbag will be "categorized" and look a bit different from previous editions. Let's get started.
What is the status of Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg?
Jorge Passapera and Muhammad Abuasi each asked about the two injured offensive linemen.
Ed says: Pugh will not play this weekend, and you have to be concerned about the third-year offensive guard. Concussions are not something to mess around with, and this is three weeks with no significant improvement since Pugh suffered his concussion. At this point, it isn't going to clear up right away and Pugh isn't going to magically step back into the lineup.
Richburg has practiced a little bit. meaning he has taken a few snaps. We have no idea how much or how well he is moving around. The Giants list him as doubtful.
Don't be surprised at all if Richburg doesn't play. The injuries mean John Jerry would start at guard and Dallas Reynolds at center. This is why you keep veteran backups with starting experience on your roster. It's also possible that the Giants add center Shane McDermott, currently on the practice squad, to the 53-man roster. Larry Donnell (neck injury) could end up on IR.
The 2016 NFL Draft
Andy Holtorf asks if the Giants will look to draft a tight end because of the neck injury suffered by Larry Donnell, or if they will rely next season on youngsters Will Tye, Jerome Cunningham and Matt LaCosse.
Ryan Chambers wants to know specifically if the Giants will draft a wide receiver in the first round.
Ed says: Guys, guys, guys. It's waaaaaaaaaay too early to start trying to figure out what the Giants will do with their first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. We have no idea where the Giants will end up in the draft order. We have no idea what underclassmen will declare for the draft. We have no idea what will happen during the pre-draft process. We don't know which free agents the Giants will lose, or which guys they will sign. Maybe they find out over the next six games that Tye is their answer as a complete tight end. Maybe a guy like Dwayne Allen of the Indianapolis Colts falls to them in free agency.
As for wide receiver, who knows? If the Giants fall in love with one you never know. The simple fact is the Giants will be looking for good players on both sides of the ball, so it's impossible to predict.
The impact of Hakeem Nicks
Malik Madison and Zac Santoro each asked about a potential role for wide receiver Hakeem Nicks with the Giants.
Ed says: Let's be real here. The Giants didn't sign Nicks expecting him to suddenly be some kind of game-changing, offense-changing player for them. They signed him because they had an open roster spot, needed a wide receiver and felt he was the best one available.
Nicks is not the player he was four or five years ago. If he was, he wouldn't have gone the first 10 weeks of the season without a job. If he was still the Nicks of old the Indianapolis Colts would never have let him get away after last season. Nicks is not supplanting Dwayne Harris as the third wide receiver. Harris is doing a very good job.
Nicks was signed for depth. Maybe he played in four wide receiver sets. Maybe he plays some in the red zone or short yardage. Maybe he doesn't play at all. Take anything Nicks, or any player signed off the street, gives you this late in the season as a bonus. If he actually gets on the field that's more than the Giants got from Victor Cruz. If he makes a few catches that help sustain drives, the Giants will take them.
As of Friday afternoon, Giants coach Tom Coughlin still had not committed to Nicks even being active for the game against Washington. Nicks has only had a couple of days of practice.