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Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones has looked better in his two preseason appearances than he has working against the Giants’ defense in practice. That trend continued on Thursday.
Jones went 14 of 15. He did threw an incompletion on a play whistled dead due to a Jets’ offside penalty. His only real blemish of the day was an interception by Bryce Hall of the Jets on a fade for Kenny Golladay in the left corner of the end zone. That, incidentally, was Golladay’s only target of the day in 11-on-11 work.
Before Collin Johnson was lost for the season, coach Brian Daboll had said that Johnson and David Sills were not only pushing for roster spots, but for playing time. Sills had a big day, running with the first-team offense, aligned most often in a three-receiver package with Golladay and Richie James. Sills was on the receiving end of six of Jones’ 14 completions on the day.
The injury bug continues to bite the Giants, this time a leg injury to Azeez Ojulari.
Two trainers helping Azeez Ojulari off the field. Apparently pulled up lame during the end-of-practice sprints pic.twitter.com/CStJDsEnyO— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) August 25, 2022
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted in the late afternoon that it appears it will not be a long-term injury for the second year player out of Georgia
#Giants pass-rusher Azeez Ojulari, who left practice early with a lower bosy injury, just underwent an MRI and is expected to be OK, I’m told. Nothing major.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 25, 2022
While WFAN and former Giant Tiki Barber voiced his doubts that Jones will be able to prove himself this season as a worthy investment for the future, Cruz disagreed. He says Jones will turn the new Giants regime into believers.
“I think there’s enough pieces around him now,” Cruz said. “I think there’s stability, I think there’s still some gelling that has to take place on the offensive line…but I think he can go out there and make some noise. With the receiving core they’ve developed…I think they’ve got some pieces to really do some things.”
The Giants must have their initial 53-man roster set by final cuts, which are due Aug. 30. Here’s where things stand heading into final preseason game. Among those on the outside looking in for The Record’s Art Stapleton are RB Gary Brightwell, WRs Darius Slayton, Richie James, and Alex Bachman, DL Nick Williams, and OLB Elerson Smith.
Darius Slayton flashed during the joint practice, catching a deep ball from QB Tyrod Taylor
The New York Giants announced the signing of tight end Tanner Hudson on Thursday morning, cutting C Chris Owens to make room on the roster. Hudson, 27, was most recently on the San Francisco 49ers’ roster, but was waived on Aug. 23. He came into the league as an undrafted free agent out of Southern Arkansas, and was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2018 NFL Draft. The 6’4, 239-pound tight end has played in 22 games for Tampa Bay and the 49ers with one start. He has 5 receptions on 12 targets, for 67 yards.
For Williams, who started his career with the Jets, one might think he would want show his former team what they gave up when they traded him. However, for Williams, playing the Jets has lost its luster.
“I look at it the same as every joint practice. I know Quinnen (Williams) pretty well, so I’m excited to see him as a friend. Other than that, it’s been so many years since I’ve been there that I don’t really see it the same way anymore. It’s just another team for me,” Williams told reporters on Wednesday.
This week’s opponent
It was an up-and-down day for the starting offense, which had some nice moments but also some struggles against Giants’ defensive coordinator Wink Martindale’s complicated scheme.
Joe Flacco completed 7-of-11 passes and threw two touchdowns in a red zone drill and one interception. He found Corey Davis, who made a spectacular catch in the back of the end zone with Adoree Jackson in coverage. On the next play Flacco found Wilson for a touchdown.
WR Denzel Mims, a second round pick for the Jets in 2020, has asked for a trade
Rex Ryan is one of the contestants on the soon-to-premier 34th season of "The Amazing Race," CBS announced on Wednesday.
Filming finished earlier this year, so Ryan will be back with ESPN this football season on "NFL Sunday Countdown." We won't know how long he and Mann lasted on the show — it's possible they could have won the $1 million prize — but it'll definitely be interesting to see how he deals with the wacky challenges and the stress of travel in unfamiliar places where English isn't widely spoken.
Ryan was mic’ed up for Victor Cruz’s coming out all those years ago
Spoiler: They found out the hard way a year and a few months later. https://t.co/9HOX5njgVN— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) August 25, 2022
Around the league
Smith suffered an avulsion fracture of the knee in Wednesday's practice and needs surgery, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday. Smith won't be back on the field until December, if at all this season. The 31-year-old went down in practice with a non-contact injury but was able to walk off under his own power.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said during television appearance he is not sure if Smith will need surgery, but Jones indicated that he expects Smith to be back at some point this season—potentially the playoffs.
The Bengals and Rams engaged in an all-out brawl Thursday afternoon to end their work, with the Rams Aaron Donald viciously swinging one helmet repeatedly in the middle of the scrum.
The Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles canceled a joint practice that was scheduled for Thursday following news that several people within the Dolphins organization were dealing with a stomach bug. The move was likely made out of an abundance of caution in advance of the teams’ upcoming preseason matchup on Saturday in Miami. It is not suspected that the illnesses are COVID-related.
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni praised on Thursday the Wednesday session from Hurts as his best practice since Sirianni arrived as head coach in 2021.
“What he was doing with the football and being able to go through reads and progressions that fast and getting the ball where it needed to go was unbelievable,” Sirianni said.
Rumors of Gesicki’s name being floated in trade talks surfaced following the tight end’s extended participation versus Las Vegas. McDaniel responded to these rumblings Thursday with a lengthy explanation.
“All I’m focused on and that’s, you know, regardless of what people try to drum up, like, I’m focused on coaching Mike, Mike’s focused on getting better. And, you know, people made stuff about this, that, or the other. Whether you’re a receiver or a tight end, or we even have running backs to it, you have to be able to do stuff with a ball and you have to be able to block for other people that are doing stuff for the ball. And we continue to work those techniques with everyone.
Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is expected to play in Saturday’s third and final preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Coach Todd Bowles did not say it outright, but when asked Thursday if Brady will play, he responded, “Everyone who is healthy will play.” Brady, who returned this week from an 11-day absence to tend to “personal issues,” is healthy and practiced in full Thursday, as well as Monday and Tuesday, with a veteran day on Wednesday. He took his usual number of reps.
In case you missed it
- Sterling Shepard reflects on journey back from Achilles tear
- Saquon Barkley: “Do I feel like I’m back? I feel like I’m better”
- Beware the preseason Pro Bowlers and busts
- Welcome to the Giants! Four new players took the field on Thursday
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