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Tight end depth proving value for Giants in down year for Evan Engram

Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison couldn’t be more different in what they bring to the table at the tight end position. They were both additions in the 2017 offseason. Engram, of course, was drafted as a pass catching tight end out of Ole Miss, while Ellison was signed from the Minnesota Vikings to help as primarily a blocker.

The two have complimented each other at the position nicely and both have shown signs of brilliance at times since joining the New York Giants.

After an impressive rookie season in which Engram was asked to step up with the receiving core decimated by injury, it has been a tough sophomore season for the Ole Miss product. Engram has struggled to stay on the field, which has lead to some more opportunities for Rhett Ellison and others.

Ellison and Scott Simonson have flourished in the absence of Engram while he has been out due to injury. Ellison has seen 13 targets over the last two games and continues to be a safety valve that quarterback Eli Manning has trust in. As for Simonson, he made a few key blocks on defensive star Khalil Mack in Week 13.

After Sunday’s win against the Chicago Bears, the tight ends received praise from head coach Pat Shurmur.

“Yeah, the two guys that played most – Scott (Simonson) and certainly Rhett (Ellison) – I’m fond of them because they’re tough and resilient. They’re gritty guys and it’s demanded of our sport, and they play that way. If they’re out there battling around, they have a way to get production like they do,” Shurmur told reporters earlier this week.

The Giants are surely better off when they have Engram running the seam and creating mismatches, but there’s no denying the team has thrived in two tight end sets with Ellison and Simonson, something they should continue to utilize even when Engram returns.

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