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Giants news, 8/24: Collin Johnson placed on IR, several other roster moves made

New York Giants headlines for Thursday

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Good morning, New York Giants fans!

Giants injury news: WR Sterling Shepard activated off PUP list | Big Blue View

Head coach Brian Daboll announced Wednesday morning that Shepard is returning to practice for the first time since tearing his Achilles late last season. Sheppard suffered a Grade 3 Achilles tear against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 15 last season, ending his season on the spot and putting him on the shelf throughout the offseason.

Daboll said that “It will be good to have him [Shepard] out there,” and added that they’ll be ramping him up over the coming practices. The Giants’ head coach noted Shepard’s ability to play across the offensive formation, as well as his rapport with QB Daniel Jones.

WR Collin Johnson placed on season-ending IR with torn Achilles; Giants claim three off waiver wire| Big Blue View

The season is over for Johnson, who had been having excellent summer, was placed on the IR. It is a cruel irony that an exciting young receiver would suffer a torn Achilles the same day that veteran receiver Sterling Shepard was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list after recovering from a similar injury.

The team made a series of roster moves on the day as well, claiming WRs Jaylon Moore and Bailey Gaither—both from Baltimore—and CB Harrison Hand from Minnesota off waivers. In corresponding moves, the team cut TE Jordan Akins and placed WR Marcus Kemp on IR

Beside all the roster moves the Giants reportedly had tryouts before practice today, apparently looking for help at tight end

Kayvon Thibodeaux’s injury came on a clean block: Explained | FOX Sports

Former Giant Geoff Schwartz offers that defenders use their hands to forcefully shove the offensive player’s shoulder pads down to the ground while clearing their feet so they can keep moving once the cut attempt as failed.

This technique should have been used by the No. 5 overall pick to avoid this cut block. Again, he saw it coming and Moss did not hide his intentions well. However, as mentioned by former Oregon and current Miami Hurricanes offensive line coach Alex Mirabel on Twitter, this cannot be practiced at a live tempo, therefore it can be more difficult for both players to use proper technique in a game.

Micah McFadden off to strong start |

Micah McFadden had a solid performance against the Bengals on Sunday as he led the team with five total tackles (three solo) and added one pressure on his two pass rush snaps. This came one week after he tied for the team-lead with four tackles and had a pressure against the Patriots in the preseason opener.

Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner looked at the performances of the entire rookie class two weeks into the preseason and ranked the 15 highest-graded players among the group. McFadden came in at No. 9 with his 90.5 overall grade.

Fox’s Colin Cowherd moved has the Giants now finishing 3rd in the NFC East and has praise for QB Daniel Jones (starting at about the 2:00 mark)

Inside Daniel Jones’ progress on new Giants offense | New York Post

In the past few weeks, Jones has become more comfortable making suggestions, more forceful in verbalizing which plays he wants more of and which he can do without. This was the way it was when Daboll ran the offense in Buffalo and was handed Josh Allen as his young quarterback.

“If you like those plays, we’re going to put them in,’’ Daboll said, revealing some of his conversation with Jones. “Those are comfortable plays for you, we’ll put them in. It’s not a big deal. He’s like, ‘OK.’ We’re still building that process, that relationship. And I love the kid, figuring out exactly what we’re going to try to be.’’

7 NFL players with the most riding on a contract year in 2022 | PFF

RB Saquon Barkley may no longer be able to top Christian McCaffrey’s $16.015 million per year deal, which was presumably a goal at one point — especially with the running back market experiencing contraction since then — but he’ll still be just 25 years old through the 2022 season. Improving upon recent contracts for former highly drafted running backs like Tampa Bay’s Leonard Fournette could help bolster a non-existent second-tier market at the position. There are no veteran running backs currently making between $7 million and $12 million per year, with a huge drop-off after the top of the market. At the least, Barkley can hope to fill this void, and at best, he can try to join the upper echelon off a monster campaign.

Meanwhile, GMFB’s Peter Schrager talks about recent comments the Penn State RB has made

Steelers’ George Pickens, Kenny Pickett early favorites for NFL Offensive ROY | The Athletic

Lions’ Dan Campbell has jumped ahead of the pack to become the favorite to win the league’s coach of the year award. Giants head coach Brian Daboll has the second best odds at +1400, along with the Brandon Staley of the Chargers and Kevin O’Connell of the Vikings.

Potential surprise trade and cut candidates from around the NFL | PFF

Final roster cuts are nearing for all 32 NFL teams. Here are eight surprising players who sources believe could be released or traded.

Two Giants were on the list—Edge Quincy Roche and WR Darius Slayton. An intriguing name that has positional fit and connection to GM Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll is Buffalo TE O. J. Howard

2022 NFL trade candidates: 12 notable names who could be shopped |

There are few, if any, players on the Giants’ transitioning roster who new general manager Joe Schoen wouldn’t be willing to deal, and WR Darius Slayton, despite two straight 700-yard seasons to start his big-play career, has plummeted down the depth chart behind younger options like Kadarius Toney and Wan’Dale Robinson. As a WR3/4 flyer, he might draw some looks.

The Joe Schoen Giants bets that are starting to pay off | New York Post

Trends are emerging from the Giants preseason, and, so far, the returns have been promising for the new GM’s moves.

BBV alumni Conner Hughes is back covering the Giants—along with the Jets—for SNY.

Hakeem Nicks selling Super Bowl XLVI ring at auction |

Former New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has put his championship ring from Super Bowl XLVI up for sale. Nicks is selling the prized piece of jewelry, which is valued at an estimated $80,000, through an auction run by Heritage. In addition to Nicks’ ring, Heritage Auctions also had the Super Bowl ring presented to Giants safety Chad Jones up for auction.

New York Giants and Jets working together again 17 years after their last brawl-filled joint practice | ESPN

The fights were out of control during joint practices held at the University at Albany between his team and the crosstown rival New York Jets in August 2005.

The Jets and Giants haven’t practiced together since — until now. On Thursday, the Jets will make the short trip across New Jersey to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center to practice with the Giants ahead of the teams’ final preseason game on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, NFL Network).

For Brandon Jacobs, those fights are an annual tradition.

“This is what happens when you do a joint practice,” Jacobs told ESPN in a recent conversation. “We did it and folks have been doing it every year after that. It’s what you do at a joint practice. You fight!”

This week’s opponent

Duane Brown, other Jets starters will play this week | ProFootballTalk

Veteran left tackle Duane Brown took a big step at Jets practice on Wednesday and he’ll take another one on Saturday. Brown participated in team drills for the first time since signing with the Jets earlier this month. Jets head coach Robert Saleh said he thought Brown looked good and was happy to see the projected starting offensive line together on the field.

Saleh will have another chance to see it against the Giants on Saturday. He said Brown and the team’s other starters will be in lineup for the preseason finale.

The Jets Should Be Happy to Have Joe Flacco | The 33rd Team

Former head coach Marty Mornhinweg ponders when do the Jets start playing Zach Wilson after he is cleared to play. Especially if things are going pretty well, and they’re at .500 or better. If they are under .500, they will play Wilson when he’s healthy. But if you’re .500 or better with Flacco, you might keep that thing going for a few more weeks.

Projecting Jets’ 53-man roster before final preseason game vs. Giants |

The Jets have so much depth at defensive line that they should probably consider a trade before cutdown day because they will be moving on from someone who can play in this league. Jabari Zuniga could be an option for that, given his strong play. Vinny Curry’s second hamstring injury hurt his chances; Solomon Thomas could make the team over Nathan Shepherd, but Jonathan Marshall and Tanzel Smart have also played well enough to prove they belong on a NFL roster. Deserving players will not make the roster at this position, by far the Jets’ deepest group.

Around the league

Josh McDaniels: Sometimes Bill Belichick has foresight the rest of us don't have | ProFootballTalk

Head coach Bill Belichick has famously installed former Lions head coach Matt Patricia as New England’s offensive line coach and he’s called most of the plays during training camp and the preseason. But as the QBs coach, former Giants head coach Joe Judge has also done his share of play calling — as has Belichick himself, reportedly.

“Look, I think at the end of the day, Bill has a plan for whatever he wants to do," said McDaniels. "And that plan, sometimes he has foresight that some of the rest of us don’t have. I didn’t have it when he pushed me ahead and helped me do that. So, I’ve got a lot of friends over there, I’ve got a lot of people over there that I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for. Coaching is coaching.”

Packers' Sammy Watkins compares Aaron Rodgers to Patrick Mahomes |

Sammy Watkins spent three years with Patrick Mahomes on the Chiefs, witnessing the star quarterback's 50-touchdown MVP season, 2019 Super Bowl victory and follow-up AFC title run. But that doesn't mean he'd take Mahomes over his current QB. Asked last month by teammate Randall Cobb if he'd rather have Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers, the new Packers wide receiver was clear: Rodgers, by a long shot.

"I've been with both of 'em, and I'm gonna be honest," Watkins said from the locker room. "I think Pat is unbelievably good. But A-Rod is on a whole different level. It makes me calm...just to be in the huddle with him, just the way he carries himself."

Seahawks QB Geno Smith to start preseason finale vs. Cowboys |

Has Geno Smith won the Seahawks' starting quarterback job? It might not be official, but it now feels as close to that as possible.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said on Seattle Sports Radio on Wednesday morning that Smith, the former Giant and Jet, will start Friday's preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys before giving way to Drew Lock. Both quarterbacks were battling in training camp to replace Russell Wilson, who was traded to the Denver Broncos this offseason. Smith had held the apparent lead in the early going, receiving the lion's share of first-team snaps. Lock made a run for the job and outplayed Smith in a team scrimmage last week, as well as putting up more efficient numbers through two preseason games. Even so, Lock tested positive for COVID and was ruled out of last week's game against the Bears.

Hall of Fame QB Len Dawson, who led Kansas City Chiefs to Super Bowl IV win, dies at age 87 | ESPN

Len Dawson, a Pro Football Hall of Famer as both a quarterback and a broadcaster, has died at the age of 87, according to his family.

Dawson career took off after he signed in 1962 to play for the AFL's Dallas Texans (soon to be the Kansas City Chiefs) to play under Hank Stram, who had been an assistant at Purdue during Dawson's stellar collegiate career. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1987 and as a broadcaster in 2012, following a TV and radio career that began as a sports anchor on Kansas City TV in 1966 while he was still playing for the Chiefs, followed b becoming an analyst for games on NBC as well as a longtime host of HBO's "Inside the NFL."

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