The New York Giants held their first OTA witgh media access on Thursday. Here are a few takeaways:
Lorenzo Carter on the mend
Carter went on IR with a torn Achilles tendon in mid-October of last year. Thursday, roughly seven months later, he was on the field taking reps with him teammates. While professional athletes do have access to the best rehab and training facilities in the world, Achilles injuries generally take nine months to a year to heal from. I know — I’ve had two of them.
‘it’s awesome seeing a guy come back from an injury like that. It’s been really cool. Excited for him,” said linebacker Blake Martinez. “I know he’s put in a ton of work this off-season getting ready to go. He’s just doing his thing out there.”
Carter, a 2018 third-round pick, is in the final year of his rookie contract. His 2021 performance will have a lot to do with whether or not he is a Giants beyond this season. The simple fact that he is on the field participating in “voluntary” workouts at this stage means he is off to a good start.
Offensive line attendance
There were apparently about 25 players not in attendance at the voluntary workout on Thursday, including Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney and most of the secondary.
One encouraging note was that the entire projected starting offensive line — Andrew Thomas, Shane Lemieux, Nick Gates, Will Hernandez and Matt Peart — along with backups Nate Solder, Zach Fulton and Jonotthan Harrison were all in attendance.
One of the often-cited reasons for the 2020 struggles of the team’s young offensive line was lack of offseason work as aa group. Offseason work is going to be more limited than in pre-COVID-19 offseasons, but the fact that there is offseason work being done as a group has to be a good thing.
They’re voluntary, but ...
There were a few surprises for me among players who were not in attendance.
Sam Beal, who has played six games since being taken in the third round of the 2018 Supplemental Draft and opted out of last season, needs time in front of this coaching staff.
Darnay Holmes is a second-year player facing a challenge for playing time from both third-round pick Aaron Robinson and the cadre of slot capable safeties the Giants have.
Linebackers Ryan Anderson and Reggie Ragland. Both are veterans exercising their rights not to attend, and that’s fine. Neither free-agent signee, though, is guaranteed a spot on the 53-man roster.
A word about Kadarius Toney
I don’t know why the first-round pick was not in attendance. Maybe it is because he hasn’t signed his contract yet, maybe it’s something else. Rookies can attend OTAs and mini-camps without signed contracts as something called the “rookie participation agreement” covers them in event of injury. They can’t, though, attend training camp util signing.
Sure, I wish he was there but I’m also not flipping out about it. if he isn’t at the mandatory mini-camp, that will be problematic.