The New York Giants begin a critical week as 5-point favorites in their Week 12 matchup on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals, per Draft Kings Sportsbook.
The 3-7 Giants, winners of their last two games, are returning from their bye week. The 2-7-1 Bengals lost to the Washington Football Team, 20-9, on Sunday. Cincinnati also lost much more than that, as quarterback Joe Burrow, No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, suffered a season-ending torn ACL.
The Bengals were already without leading rusher Joe Mixon, who is on IR with a foot injury.
The Giants had a tumultuous bye week.
Offensive line coach Marc Colombo was fired, replaced by long-time NFL assistant Dave DeGuglielmo. That reportedly came after a heated argument between Colombo and Judge when the offensive line coach was informed that DeGuglielmo was being added to the coaching staff as a consultant.
The Giants were also impacted by COVID-19. Placekicker Graham Gano, offensive tackle Matt Peart, tight end Kaden Smith and wide receiver Dante Pettis all tested positive for the virus. Punter Riley Dixon and long-snapper Casey Kreiter were quarantined as close contacts of someone with the virus. It’s unknown if any of those players will be available Sunday.
The Giants could get good news on the injury front this week.
Linebacker Tae Crowder, on IR with a hamstring injury, began practicing with the team the week before the bye. A starter at inside linebacker in the two games before being injured, Crowder could rejoin the roster this week.
Safety Xavier McKinney (fractured foot), linebacker Oshane Ximines (shoulder) and cornerback Ryan Lewis (hamstring) may also return to practice.
“We’re optimistic we should see the majority of those guys if not all of them at some point down this stretch,” head coach Joe Judge said last week.
The Giants are, of course, in a tighly-contested NFC East race. The Philadelphia Eagles are 3-6-1, with the Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Football Team all 3-7.