It has been a rough couple of games for New York Giants offensive lineman Joshua Ezeudu.
Monday night against the Seattle Seahawks he was charged with three of the 10 sacks of quarterback Daniel Jones. Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, Ezeudu gave up the sack that ended up injuring Jones and also committed three penalties.
Ezeudu, a second-year player drafted in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft, was emotional after both games. He reportedly apologized to Jones for being late off the snap on the play during which the quarterback was injured.
Many pundits, including myself, have said that Ezeudu should not be at left tackle in the NFL. The Giants drafted him to play guard, and the reality is he wasn’t good enough at guard this summer to win a starting job over Ben Bredeson or Mark Glowinski. Now, thanks to an injury to Andrew Thomas and an apparent lack of faith in Matt Peart, Ezeudu finds himself at the most important position on the line. A position he did not spend the summer preparing to play.
If his confidence is shattered at this point, that would not be a shock.
Bredeson, speaking to media via Zoom on Monday, said the Giants would support their teammate.
“We have Josh’s back. Always making sure he’s okay. He’s one of our guys, and we’ll always take care of him,” Bredeson said. “That’s the brotherhood aspect of being on a team and especially in an offensive line room. We love Josh, we believe in Josh, and we’ll always have Josh’s back. There are times now when he can lean on us, and we’ll stand there with him and have his back through it all. We’re always checking in with one another, and Josh is going to be alright.”
The Giants might have no choice but to put Ezeudu back at left tackle Sunday night against the Buffalo Bills.
Thomas did not practice last week due to his hamstring, and coach Brian Daboll indicated on Monday that a return for the star left tackle does not appear imminent.
Peart replaced Ezeudu Sunday after the Jones injury. His play did not scream that he needs to be on the field. In 19 pass-blocking snaps, Pro Football Focus charged him with allowing a quarterback hit and three pressures, giving him a pass-blocking efficiency score of a woeful 88.2.