The Giants have had injuries this season, but not as many as they’ve experienced the past several seasons, when they led the NFL in a stat called “adjusted games lost”, which measures how many games key starters and their backups miss due to injury.
On Sunday, RG Justin Pugh, who is arguably having a Pro Bowl year, went down in the second quarter of the Giants’ 28-23 win over the Eagles with an MCL sprain. He was replaced in the game by Brett Jones, the former CFL star who has been with the club since 2015 but has played sparingly.
“Justin is going to miss some time,” head coach Ben McAdoo said on Monday. “I don’t know how long at this point, but he’s going to miss a little bit of time.”
The estimate, as per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv, is that Pugh will be out some two to four weeks. Whether Jones, who fared well in spelling Pugh on Sunday remains at RG is still unknown.
“We’ll take a look at all of our options,” McAdoo said. One of those options could be shifting current RT Bobby Hart to RG and inserting Marshall Newhouse back into his RT role. Newhouse returned last week after missing several weeks to a calf injury.
Jones played 50 snaps after Pugh’s departure and was given an 82.2 grade by the website Pro Football Focus, the highest grade of any Giants’ offensive player in the game.
“I felt good,” Jones said. “You never want to see a teammate get hurt. That’s my job to be ready to play. I want to play football. It was good to get out there and play again. I cherish these opportunities. I definitely had a lot of fun out there.”
WR Victor Cruz (ankle) also left the game Sunday. He underwent an MRI on Monday and as per veteran Giants beat writer Art Stapleton, the test showed Cruz has a “low ankle sprain” which could could sideline him for only a week or two at the most.
Rookie Roger Lewis, Jr., who scored on a 30 yard pass from Eli Manning in the first quarter, will likely play in Cruz’ place this Monday night against Cincinnati.
“He’s a young and improving player,” McAdoo said of Lewis. “He’s taking advantage of his special teams opportunities. He needs to continue to do that. As long as he continues to produce the way he has been producing on special teams and improving on offense, he will get the opportunity to play.”
In other injury news, it doesn’t appear if rookie safety Darian Thompson (Lisfranc, foot) will be taking the field any time soon. Thompson suffered a setback last week and may be headed to IR.
RB Shane Vereen (triceps), who is currently on short-term IR, could return in the next few weeks. His will be officially eligible to return to the team Nov. 27, but the Giants have not commented on his progress.
McAdoo would not comment on Vereen’s status when asked twice on his Monday conference call.
“Haven’t had those conversations yet,” he said.