Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris did not play for the New York Giants on Saturday due to injuries. Several other wide receivers had only been with the team a few days and knew little of the offense.
That meant that undrafted free agent Travis Rudolph, with the Giants since signing right after the 2017 NFL Draft, was going to be in line for lots of playing time in Saturday’s preseason game against the New York Jets.
Rudolph took advantage with three catches for 81 yards, including this outstanding 57-yard catch-and-run.
“That’s just an effort play,” Rudolph said after the game. “I feel like when the ball is in the air, it’s mine, so I have to go get it.”
This one is another effort play.
“He made the most of his opportunity,” said coach Ben McAdoo. “He had a chance to shine, and he took advantage of it.”
Giants’ fans have been waiting for the next Victor Cruz to come along, the next undrafted free agent wide receiver to make the roster and become a big deal. There was a brief love affair a couple of years ago with Corey Washington, but he — and the love affair — fizzled. Now, Rudolph is getting attention.
“I don’t really think of it that much,” Rudolph said. “I just want the coaches and the players to notice me.”
After Saturday, there shouldn’t be any doubt that they are.