The New York Giants take on their MetLife Stadium co-tenant New York Jets in a prime time preseason contest tonight. The Giants are the home team this year for this MetLife Bowl, but the big news for this game is that Geno Smith has been named the starting quarterback for the Jets.
Big Blue also has some newly named starters in offensive tackle Justin Pugh and center Jim Cordle, due to injuries to David Diehl and David Baas. In addition, thrice-injured Terrell Thomas will see his first game action in two years after being removed from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and getting a full week of practice under his belt.
In addition to Baas and Diehl, other starters who will miss this contest are Victor Cruz (bruised heel), Corey Webster (knee/groin), Henry Hynoski (knee) and Jason Pierre-Paul (back). Justin Tuck, who injured a hamstring against the Indianapolis Colts last week, is questionable as well.
All five of these players could see action against the Dallas Cowboys, in the season opener on September 8th, but these are the players to watch tonight.
Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, in the Giants’ first preseason contest, Adewale Ojomo had 1.5 sacks. Last week against the Indianapolis Colts, he had lead the team with six tackles. The free agent from the University of Miami has a nose for the ball and can line up at defensive end or tackle.
Curtis Painter did not play last week against the Indianapolis Colts, so that quarterback David Carr could get some repetitions with the first and second teams. This week it’s Painter’s turn. Carr did not play poorly, but he also did not distinguish himself either, opening the door for Painter, who comes with a “cap friendlier” salary.
Dan Connor will once again line up with the first-team against the New York Jets after also starting against the Indianapolis Colts last week. Coaches tells us not to read too much into anything, but it appears as if Connor has won the starting middle linebacker job over Mark Herzlich.
Jerrel Jernigan sat out last week’s game against the Indianapolis Colts with a hamstring injury, prompting head coach Tom Coughlin to voice frustration with his inability to stay on the field. But Coughlin also acknowledged Jernigan’s playmaking ability as well, and the G-men are looking for a punt return specialist.
Jim Cordle was pressed into duty when starting center David Bass went down with a knee injury on the Giants’ first series against the Colts last week. Originally, the coaching staff was going to shift Kevin Boothe from guard to center, but after David Diehl’s thumb injury, Cordle became the starter.
Justin Pugh received his first game action last week against the Indianapolis Colts, after missing the previous week against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a concussion. Now the first round draft pick from Syracuse moves into the starting lineup at right tackle, replacing the injured David Diehl. His quick rise up the depth chart will be put to the test by the defensive schemes of Rex Ryan’s New York Jets.