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Giants’ Roster Bubble Watch: These Players Need Good Showings Against Jets

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Time running out for players to prove the belong

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants
Matt LaCosse vs. Pittsburgh.
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

We already discussed the fact that quarterbacks Geno Smith and Josh Johnson face important tests on Saturday against the New York Jets, as they are fighting for what looks like one backup job behind Eli Manning.

Let’s look at other players on the roster bubble as the Sept. 2 date to trim rosters from 90 players to 53 looms. We’ll go position-by-position.

Running Back

Shaun Draughn — The veteran running back has yet to play due to an ankle injury that forced him to start training camp on PUP. Unless an injury occurs or Draughn does something dramatic against the Jets, he appears to be on the outside looking in.

Fullback

Shane Smith and Jacob Huesman — I will list both fullbacks on the 90-man roster, but Smith is the one who clearly seems to have the lead. His problem is convincing the Giants they need to carry a fullback. He will not only have to throw some quality blocks, but he will need to make his presence felt on special teams.

Tight End

Will Tye and Matt LaCosse — It seems like we have talked about this 100 times already. Tye, last year’s starter, has been bypassed by Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison and Jerell Adams. LaCosse still needs to show that he can do in games what he always seems to do in practice — make an impact.

Wide Receiver

Travis Rudolph and Roger Lewis Jr. — Both guys have a shot at the final receiver slot, depending of course on how many receivers the Giants keep. Who will grab it?

Defensive Tackle

Robert Thomas — He has gone from potential starter to a guy who seems to need a good showing to make the roster.

Defensive End

Devin Taylor, Jordan Williams, Kerry Wynn, Owamagbe Odighizuwa — I have taken Avery Moss and Romeo Okwara off the bubble. How many defensive ends will the Giants keep? Who will they be? I’m not sure they know yet.

Linebacker

Calvin Munson, Curtis Grant, J.T. Thomas — Munson and Grant are young guys trying to prove they deserve a shot. Thomas is a veteran who needs to show he is healthy after knee surgery wrecked his 2016 season.

Cornerback

Donte Deayon — Everybody loves the 5-foot-9, 163-pound Deayon. He should play a lot Saturday night and it seems like there is a roster spot there for him. Can he prove once-and-for-all that he deserves it?

Safety

Eric Pinkins — It seems a pretty safe bet that Andrew Adams and Nat Berhe will make the team as reserve safeties. Can Pinkins made the teams based mostly on his special teams work?

Placekickers

Aldrick Rosas and Mike Nugent — Which kicker is going to blink?