Joshua Ezeudu came up short earlier this season in his first effort to win the starting left guard job for the New York Giants.
With expected starter Shane Lemieux (toe/foot) on IR, Ezeudu and Ben Bredeson began the season splitting reps at that spot. In Week 1 vs. the Tennessee Titans, Bredeson played 32 snaps and Ezeudu 28. In Week 2, Bredeson played 56 snaps and Ezeudu — clearly losing ground in the competition — played just 17. In Week 3, Bredeson took over the job full-time.
Ezeudu did not sulk. He understood why Bredeson was playing and he was not.
“I felt even myself I wasn’t ready yet. I was still overthinking, still trying to just do certain stuff that I couldn’t do all because I was just overthinking,” Ezeudu said on Thursday. “But I feel like I’m way more calmed down now.”
Ezeudu played 61 snaps last Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars after Bredeson suffered a knee injury.
Ezeudu said he felt “way different” this time.
“I will say I’m just more confident. I’m more controlled. I just feel better about it,” Ezeudu said. “Because I’m doing certain things, I’ve been practicing certain things and I’ve been seeing it work, too. So if it works, then just keep keep on doing it.”
Ezeudu said adjusting to the speed of NFL defensive linemen was his biggest adjustment.
“In my head I was busy thinking I was playing against faster and bigger, stronger people. So you have to speed up,” he said. “When in a sense you just have to be more efficient. That’s probably like the biggest thing I learned.”
Pro Football Focus liked Ezeudu’s Week 7 work. In Week 2, Ezeudu scored a miserable 22.3 grade. Against the Jaguars, he posted an acceptable though not perfect 58.6.
With Bredeson out Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, and likely for the next few weeks, Lemieux still on IR and Nick Gates just returning to action, Ezeudu has an opportunity to grab the job.
“I’m just here to help the team,” he said.
Daniel Bellinger update
Sounds like rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger could play again this season.
#Giants TE Daniel Bellinger underwent successful surgery to correct fractures on lower window of eye socket and damage to septum, per source. Player hopes to return in 2-6 weeks, but separate source says 4-6 weeks could be more reasonable, depending on healing.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) October 28, 2022
Giants-Seahawks final injury report
TE Daniel Bellinger (Eye)
G Ben Bredeson (Knee)
CB Cor’Dale Flott (Calf)
WR Kenny Golladay (Knee)
T Evan Neal (Knee)
LB Oshane Ximines (Quad)
T Tyre Phillips (Toe)
S Jason Pinnock (Foot)
DL Leonard Williams (Elbow)
LB Nick Bellore (Concussion)
WR DK Metcalf (Knee)
G Phil Haynes (Concussion)
DE Poona Ford (Ankle)
OLB Darrell Taylor (Groin)
G Gabe Jackson (Hip/Knee)
WR Tyler Lockett (Hamstring)
CB Sidney Jones IV (Groin)
WR Penny Hart (Hamstring)