2020 Pro-Bowl tight end Evan Engram made his first appearance of the season for the New York Giants on Sunday. The mistake-prone tight end made fumbled in a two-minute drill to conclude the first half, and had a third-quarter drop. His mishaps were not received well by the Giants’ faithful at MetLife Stadium.
The Engram mistakes reminded Giants’ fans of all the mishaps last season, which cost the Giants victories. After the fumble, the fans at MetLife Stadium booed whenever Engram came onto the field and cheered when he left the offense. Engram also received boos when Daniel Jones targeted the 27-year-old.
Reporters asked head coach Joe Judge and other Giants about Engram being booed - here’s Judge’s response when asked about the “hostile” environment towards Engram.
”I love our crowd. It’s New York, it’s supposed to be a tough place to be, right? Isn’t that the nature of where we’re at? People demand excellence because that’s where we’re at, in the biggest market. Isn’t that what people want?,” Judge said. “So, that’s what we have to work to give them. It’s not their job to show up, and just go ahead and pat us on the back. It’s our job to entertain them and give them something to cheer about. That’s it.”
Judge said he told Engram simply to “Keep your head up, keep playing.”
Quarterback Daniel Jones also defended the tight end.
”I don’t think that was deserved,” Jones said. “I think one tipped ball and I could’ve thrown it better at the end. I’m not sure I really understood that. He played hard all game and fought back from an injury a few weeks ago to be out here. He’s a big-time player for us and is going to be huge for us down the stretch.”
The third-year quarterback displayed leadership and said all the right things in defense of a player who can’t seem to get out of his own way.
“I think he [Engram] knows how much we believe in him, how much I believe in him,” Jones said. ‘Like I said, he’s a big-time playmaker for us. He’s made a ton of plays in the past and I have no doubt he’ll continue to do that as we get going in the season. I’ve got a lot of trust and a lot of faith in him personally and I know our team does as well.
Engram’s mistakes are far too frequent, and his upside is rarely maximized on the field. He had the opportunity, again, to help put the offense on his back because of injuries, and instead he caused a turnover and had little positive impact.
Nevertheless, the Giants continue to defend Engram which is exactly what they should do. However, the fans are tired of the inefficiency, tired of the costly errors, and tired of Evan Engram in general. The 2017 first-round pick is playing on his fifth-year option and is a free agent at the end of the season.