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Giants vs. Patriots: Snap counts for players on the roster bubble

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Which players on the fringe of the final roster saw the field against the Patriots?

NFL: New England Patriots at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have until 4 p.m. ET Saturday to trim their roster from 90 men down to 53.

This likely won’t be their “final” roster, as they will work the waiver wire and potentially sign some recently released veterans. The next 30 (or so) hours will be tense ones for the players who find themselves on the roster bubble. We don’t yet know the thought trends and thought processes of the Giants’ new regime, but perhaps we can get some clues from how many snaps those bubble players got against the New England Patriots

Offense

  • Chris Scott (G) - The team apparently wanted a close look at guard Chris Scott. Scott quietly played each and every one of the Giants’ 78 offensive snaps Thursday night. The team is trying to figure out their depth chart behind the starting offensive line and whether they will need to search for options. Scott is a veteran player at 31 years old and familiar to Dave Gettleman from his time with the Carolina Panthers. In playing 100 percent of the Giants’ snaps, the coaches might have hinted that Scott is serious competition for John Jerry as a back-up interior lineman.
  • Chad Wheeler (OT) and Nick Becton (OT) - Wheeler was signed by the Giants as an undrafted free agent out of USC in 2017. He is in a competition with Becton for the job of swing tackle. The Giants played both players at both left tackle and right tackle in the first half of the game. Wheeler saw slightly more snaps than Becton, 35 snaps to 32. Becton would likely have played more, but left the game with an ankle injury.
  • Evan Brown (C) - Veteran guard John Greco was way down the list for snaps, getting just 19 total snaps between guard and center. The Giants might be looking at Brown as an emergency back-up to Greco at the center position, possibly eyeing him for a spot on the practice squad.
  • Wide Receivers - The wide receiver depth chart behind Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Cody Latimer remains cloudy at best. Jawill Davis lead the wide receiver group with 32 snaps, getting 6 targets, hauling in three for 32 yards. Kalif Raymond saw the most targets with 7 (1 catch) in his 18 offensive snaps. Behind Davis were Alonzo Russell with 29 snaps (4 targets, 3 receptions, 24 yards, 1 TD), Marquis Bundy with 26 targets (1 target, 1 reception, 19 yards), and Travis Rudolph with 26 receptions (3 targets, 3 receptions for 30 yards). Preseason sensation Amba Etta-Tawo was on the field for 24 snaps (2 targets, 1 reception for 41 yards and a touchdown).

Roger Lewis brought up the rear in that group, with 19 offensive snaps, and was targeted just once. However, Lewis also showed the most special teams upside of the receivers (save Raymond), with more than double the special teams snaps of any other receiver at 12, and showing up with a big tackle on a return.

Jhurell Pressley (RB) - Jalen Simmons got the most snaps among the running backs with 36 snaps, but once again Pressley might have flashed the brightest with his work on the field. Though Pressley has only been with the Giants for two weeks, he made the most of his opportunity, including his 23 snaps against the Patriots. Pressley is clearly athletic with impressive agility, explosiveness, speed, quickness, and balance through contact. He also runs very hard and is a handful for defenders to bring down. Whether he has done enough to force the Giants to keep him at the expense of another player or risk exposing him to the waiver wire remains to be seen.

Defense

  • Donte Deayon (CB) - Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Giants wanted to get an extended look at Deayon after he missed time with a hamstring injury with 61 defensive snaps (91 percent). Before the injury, Deayon picking off the Giants’ quarterbacks became a daily occurance. Thursday night, he snagged two interceptions with a third slipping through his arms (which still counted as a pass defensed), in addition to a fourth pass defensed three tackles. He made the most of his opportunity.
  • Grant Haley (CB) - Haley was second among Giants’ defenders with 59 snaps (88 percent). Haley and Deayon are vying for the same spot as a reserve cornerback. The undrafted free agent was solid in coverage and showed the physicality that has become his trademark.
  • Tae Davis (LB) - Davis has been running behind Ray-Ray Armstrong on the depth chart, and that is unlikely to change. But the Giants seemed to want to get a good look at the safety turned linebacker and gave him 51 snaps (76 percent) on defense, as well as 11 special teams snaps. Davis played well as the moneybacker and outside linebacker in nickel situations, using his athleticism to fly around the field. The Giants have struggled with coverage over the middle, and adding another undersized, but athletic, linebacker with coverage skills could be attractive.
  • William Gay (FS) - Gay was signed as a veteran free agent to man the slot corner, but as training camp progressed, he was moved to the free safety position. After barely playing against the Detroit Lions, Gay saw his playing time climb back up against the New York Jets and now the Patriots. Gay was on the field for 30 snaps Thursday night — though fans watching at home might be forgiven for not noticing him, as Bettcher frequently had him lining up so deep he was rarely on screen. The Giants seem to want a free safety with a cornerback’s skillset.
  • Andrew Adams (S) - Adams made his mark as an undrafted free agent who stepped up to man the free safety position after Darian Thompson was lost to injury in 2016. The current Giants’ regime seems to think of Adams as more of a strong safety and he has been behind both Curtis Riley and Gay at free safety. Adams got 24 snaps with the defense in the second half, coming up with a big tackle. Unfortunately, he also playing a major role in both of the Patriots touchdowns when he bit hard on play action and was drawn far out of position.