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Does LB Jarrad Davis deserve another chance with Giants?

Knee injury cost veteran linebacker all of 2023 season

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
Jarrad Davis
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Back in 2022, the linebacker-needy New York Giants pestered Jarrad Davis for weeks until he agreed to leave the Detroit Lions’ practice squad and join the Giants. It was so late in the year that he played in only one regular-season game, but was a starter in the Giants’ two playoff games.

Davis never got a chance to show the Giants what he could do in 2023 as a July knee injury landed him on injured reserve before his season ever actually got started.

Should the 29-year-old Davis get an opportunity to compete for a job with the Giants in 2024?

Reasons to keep Davis

Free-agent signee Bobby Okereke and a much-improved Micah McFadden in 2023 gave the Giants the best off-ball linebacker play they have had in many seasons. Isaiah Simmons, who is also a free agent, added athleticism on passing downs.

With Simmons, Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin all potentially leaving in free agency, there is a dearth of depth behind Okereke, McFadden and 2022 sixth-round pick Darrian Beavers, who was a practice squad player in 2023.

The extent of Davis’s knee injury was never fully revealed, as it was only considered a “long-term” injury that would cost him the 2023 season. If he is healthy enough to play, Davis could be a nice depth option for whoever is the Giants’ defensive coordinator next season.

Reasons to let him go

As mentioned above, Davis is 29 and is coming off a knee injury. He has played a decent amount of special teams during his career, something a reserve linebacker would be counted upon to do. Coming off his knee injury, though, is it realistic to expect him to cover punts and kickoffs? Perhaps a younger, healthier player would be a better option.

The verdict

On a one-year veteran minimum contract I don’t see any issue with bringing Davis to training camp and allowing him to compete for a job.