clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Azeez Ojulari, Leonard Williams, Adoree’ Jackson expected to practice on Wednesday

Coach Brian Daboll says they will all ‘do something’

Houston Texans v New York Giants
Adoree’ Jackson
Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

Injured New York Giants defenders Adoree’ Jackson, Leonard Williams and Azeez Ojulari are all expected to “do something” when the team reconvenes for practice on Wednesday, coach Brian Daboll said on Monday.

The Giants travel to face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in the wild-card round of the 2023 NFC playoffs, and having the talented trio of defenders available would be a huge boost for New York.

Jackson, the team’s No. 1 cornerback, has not played since suffering a sprained MCL while returning a punt Week 11 against the Detroit Lions. Fabian Moreau has done a nice job for the Giants as a starting cornerback, but he is really a No. 2 or complementary cornerback. Asked to shadow Minnesota star wide receiver Justin Jefferson much of the time when the teams played in Week 16, Moreau struggled. He gave up seven receptions in nine targets for 78 yards, a touchdown and four first down while being primarily responsible for Jefferson. The Vikings’ star finished with 12 receptions fo 133 yards.

Williams has struggled with a neck injury for much of the second half of the season. He left midway through the Week 17 game against the Indianapolis Colts and did not play in Week 18. Williams, who forms half of the Giants’ impressive defensive tackle duo with Dexter Lawrence, said last week the neck issue is something he is just going to have to play through.

“I feel alright. I’ve been battling through it for a few weeks now. It’s something that really isn’t going to get better until I’m not playing football, you know what I mean? This is something that is probably going to go away during the offseason,” he said. “I’m taking care of it as much as possible during the week, the team is doing a good job of taking care of me and still going.”

Ojulari, a second-year edge defender, is second on the Giants in sacks with 5.5 despite playing in only seven games. He dealt with quad injuries early in the season, and then suffered an ankle injury against the Vikings. He played only seven snaps Week 17 against the Colts and was held out Week 18 against the Eagles.

Dexter Lawrence ‘accepting’ being defense’s ‘centerpiece’

Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale last week called the fourth-year defensive tackle, who is having his best season with career highs in sacks (6.5), quarterback hits (28), tackles (68) and tackles for loss (7), the “centerpiece” of the Giants’ defense.

“That’s the role that I wanted to have this year and accept. I understand it. He [Martindale] didn’t put it on me, but he helped me understand my role,” he said. “I take it as a challenge and I’m accepting it.”

Lawrence’s Week 17 play against the Indianapolis Colts, sacking quarterback Sam Ehlinger with one hand while driving guard Quenton Nelson to the ground with the other, had drawn a lot of attention. Here is what Lawrence said about it last week when I asked him:

“I lifted his (Nelson’s) hands off me and just kept pushing him back. The quarterback was right there. I just made sure I didn’t let him go.”

A role for Jarrad Davis?

The Giants, searching for quality play at inside linebacker all season, tried to poach veteran linebacker Jarrad Davis off the Detroit Lions’ practice squad for several weeks. Davis resisted until Week 17, when it became apparent to him he wasn’t going to get a chance in Detroit.

Davis had a Week 18 audition as the Giants played backups against the Philadelphia Eagles. He responded with 10 tackles, one for loss, a half-sack, and a quarterback hit.

Did Davis force his way into the Giants’ linebacker rotation this weekend against Minnesota?

“I thought he played well for only being here a short time. Understood what we asked him to do. I thought he made a lot of good plays out there,” Daboll said. “We’ll continue to put him in there and see how he develops for us. But I thought he did a good job for us.”

The Giants have primarily been using using Jaylon Smith and Micah McFadden at linebacker on anticipated run downs and Landon Collins and Tony Jefferson on anticipated passing downs.