New Giants receivers will at least know the playbook
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Eli Manning isn’t going to have to explain the New York Giants’ offense to his new receivers.
Tavarres King, Travis Rudolph and Ed Eagan know it. King was with the team last year and made the 53-man roster before being released after spraining his ankle early in the season.
Rudolph might have been New York’s best receiver in the preseason, but it only landed the rookie free agent from Florida State a spot on the practice squad. Eagan, who was signed Tuesday, spent the final weeks of training camp with the Giants, and was added to the practice squad Sept. 20
With Odell Beckham Jr. (broken ankle), Brandon Marshall (ankle stabilization) and Dwayne Harris (broken foot) lost to season-ending injuries against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, all three got spots on the 53-man roster. They know they will be playing Sunday night in Denver against the Broncos.
Beckham had surgery Monday night. Marshall and Harris had surgery Tuesday. Dr. Martin O’Malley performed all three surgeries at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
Manning would be more worried if the Giants had signed receivers who had never played with the team.
“Then you’re working all week just to make sure he knows what the routes are, knows what the adjustments are, knows everything,” he said.
“With these guys, some of them have been here two, three years. They know what they’re doing. They were just here a few weeks ago, so they’ll be ready.
“We’ll talk. There’s always some things you’ve added in. There’s some new plays or different things, but I don’t see there being a problem with being on the same page.”
With all the injuries, second-year pro Sterling Shepard is the most accomplished receiver on the team.
The problem is he also sprained an ankle Sunday and his status is day to day. He is not sure whether he will play against the Broncos and the NFL’s No. 1 overall defense.
He does know that opposing defenses are probably going to change the way they play the Giants. Most had used two-deep coverages to prevent Beckham and Marshall from beating them deep.
“Probably a lot more one high,” Shepard said of defenses that leave one safety deep. “Just press man. Loading the box up. Trying to stop the run. So, we have to do a great job beating one-on-one coverage and separating from guys.”
King and Roger Lewis, the only healthy receiver after last week’s game, both have the speed to go deep.
“It’s extremely important to have the opportunity to showcase what I can do and not just that, but to help this team in any way that I can,” King said, adding his ankle is healed. “Get things rolling, bring some energy, bring some explosiveness.”
King had been working out in the area, hoping somebody would call and ask him to play. The Giants did shortly after the game with the Chargers ended.
“I feel bad for my brothers, but it feels good to be back home,” King said.
Rudolph was told of his promotion from the practice squad Sunday night. However, he knew late in the game, he would probably get his chance.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he said of the injuries. “It was horrific. I was thinking: ‘Why us?’ But that’s the game of football and injuries happen.”
Manning said the Giants (0-5) just have to move on.
“Obviously, whenever you lose players, you have to make adjustments and other guys have to step up,” he said. “Nothing has changed in that fact.”