The New York Giants (3-8) will host the Chicago Bears (8-3) at MetLife Stadium in Week 13.
The Giants revealed the seven players on their 53-man roster who will be inactive and not suit up for this game. The big news is about who will NOT be inactive. For the first time in his NFL career, rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta will dress and be active for this game. If the Giants lose in a blowout and the game gets out of hand, Lauletta could come in and play in the second half. This is obviously something to keep an eye on.
Alex Tanney, quarterback
It looks like Shurmur’s hints that Tanney could play over Lauletta if the Giants benched Eli Manning this season could be premature. With Tanney inactive now, it appears Lauletta has jumped him on the depth chart.
Evan Engram, tight end
Engram missed practice again on Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday. The 2017 first-round draft pick missed the Giants’ Week 12 game against the Eagles with a hamstring injury that he suffered in pre-game warmups. Engram described the injury and his Week 12 absence as precautionary, but his practice participation this week so far tells a different story. Hamstring injuries are tricky. The 2018 season is shaping up to be an injury-marred disappointment for the second-year tight end.
B.J. Goodson, linebacker
Goodson has played a much bigger role on the Giants defense over the last month and change following the loss of Ray-Ray Armstrong at the second level. Goodson’s pass coverage has been exposed at times when in man coverage and his long-term future with the roster remains up in the air because he was part of the Jerry Reese era of linebacker scouting. The Giants will likely want to add competition regardless at the inside linebacker position this offseason as they look to get players who can hold up in man coverage. Pass coverage for the Giants defense has been an issue at the linebacker level.
John Jenkins, defensive tackle
Kamrin Moore, safety
Lorenzo Carter, linebacker
Evan Brown, offensive line
The game will mark the 59th contest between the two squads. The first meeting took place in 1925 with the Bears earning a 19-7 victory. The Bears lead the all-time series with a record of 33-23-2. The Bears also lead the regular-season matchups with a 28-20-2 record. New York has won three of the last four games between the two teams.
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.