The New York Giants (3-8) still have five games to play out the 2018 regular season and for the second consecutive season they are all but out of the playoff race before December.
Having said that, there is still a lot to watch for on this young roster that remains fluid heading into the 2019 offseason. The Giants have already turned things over to the youth at several key positions. They traded cornerback Eli Apple which cleared a path for rookie cornerback Grant Haley. In Week 12, Haley was the Giants’ top-graded defensive player according to Pro Football Focus. In the slot, but also moved around the formation at times in James Bettcher’s scheme, Haley held Philadelphia Eagles slot wide receiver Golden Tate to one reception for 12 yards, per PFF.
Aside from Haley and the cornerbacks (shout out to B.W. Webb who has played much better than given credit for), the Giants have young players getting serious playing time at safety (Curtis Riley), inside linebacker (Tae Davis), outside linebacker (Lorenzo Carter, Kareem Martin), the defensive line (B.J. Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, Mario Edwards, Josh Mauro, RJ McIntosh), the offensive line (Jamon Brown, Will Hernandez, Spencer Pulley, Chad Wheeler), wide receiver (Corey Coleman). To a lesser extent, even tight end Scott Simonson and fullback Elijhaa Penny are getting an opportunity to prove they belong on the roster in 2019 and beyond. We didn’t include Saquon Barkley on this list because he’s already there. Some of these players are playing more than others, but all are expected to get a bump in playing time during the final five games.
As of Week 13, we still expect rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta to also get playing time down the stretch run. In total, the Giants have a lot of young players in significant roles who can help provide general manager Dave Gettleman with more of a sample size to make future decisions on these players (or other potential replacements) this offseason.
Today, we’re breaking down the Thursday injury report and it’s important to keep an eye on the younger players who make the list. The Giants need them to get healthy fast and back on the field so the planning for 2019 can continue.