Week 4 has found the Giants occupying the 30th position in rushing in the NFL. The Giants are only superior to two other teams and only because those teams haven’t played quite as many games.
There has been talk of the Giants going for an all Zebra/11 Personnel approach as was seen last year. But offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan has rubbished the suggestion. The Giants are definitely in a bit of a slump, though, and the NFL betting odds are more than likely to reflect some of the behind-the-scenes turmoil in the near future.
New York is still dealing with Shane Smith. They brought the fullback on board in the summer. The Giants had a lot of expectations riding on the undrafted free agent when they brought him in from San Jose State.
But clearly, he was unable to meet those expectations because, by Thursday, it was clear that Smith had been cut from the team. One assumes that the Giants thought long and hard about that decision.
After all, they didn’t carry a fullback in the previous year. One cannot really blame them for Smith. Following the twelve snaps he played in the first fourteen days, one could see that New York wasn’t pleased with Smith because they didn’t put him in the Sunday game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Of course, his absence from the offensive plays did little to prevent New York’s loss. But right now, Smith isn’t really an issue. The team lost J.T. Thomas to a groin injury. The 29-year-old veteran is doing little to earn the ten million dollar deal he signed in 2015, not with all the injuries that keep plaguing him.
The linebacker is currently on injured reserve. Thomas was equally troublesome last year, getting sidelined as a result of a knee injury at the start of the season. But the Giants do not have to worry too much about him because he has had to take pay cuts in previous years due to his injuries.
Thomas, on the other hand, should worry about the fact that he has only played a little over a dozen games since getting his three-year deal in 2015.
Right now, New York is betting everything on Deontae Skinner and Cap Capi. The pair will be expected to make up for the absence of Thomas, not to mention Jonathan Casillas and B.J. Goodson both of whom are not expected to participate in the Tampa Bay Game on Sunday.
There might be hope for Casillas. Sure, he missed two days of practice but he was seen working with his trainer not too far off, so he could recover from his ankle and wrist complications by Sunday.
The Giants had plans to inject a fullback into their roster but they are likely to make do with Rhett Ellison. There has also been mention of Matt LaCosse and Jerell Adams stepping up to the plate.
Sullivan needs tight ends that have potential as lead blockers. It will be his goal to diversify the offense. For Sullivan, that means including a role for a fullback on the roster.
It will be interesting to see how the Giants shape out on Sunday.