Two big pieces of news out of Giants camp today both involve injuries. Justin Pugh, who has been out due to a mild concussion, worked with the team on Monday after being sidelined for 11 days.
Pugh expects to play against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Antrel Rolle was covering Bear Pascoe when he tweaked his ankle. Rolle will undergo an MRI and more information will be available later this week. In today’s report we break down the running backs and linebackers.
The Giants running game looked shaky at best against Pittsburgh on Saturday evening. David Wilson was unable to get the ball in the open field and put his speed and shiftiness on display. Wilson has looked great in camp and his difficulties Saturday could be attributed to a banged up offensive line and a strong Pittsburgh defense.
A quick look at the box score shows that Andre Brown had a bit more success. Brown ran for 23 yards on four carries and Wilson ran for only 16 yards on five carries. However, this is a case of a box score being deceiving. David Carr pitched the pigskin right into Brown’s gut and Brown coughed it up right away and put the ball on the turf for the Steelers to recover.
Despite having the better running game, Brown may have lost some ground in the race to pass Wilson, who had already been announced as the starter. The Giants won’t look to use Brown much outside of short yardage situations but no team can afford to have someone fumbling the ball in the red zone.
Michael Cox has looked outstanding in camp. Cox, who was the 253rd overall pick in the 2013 draft, is looking to make the team as the Giants third running back. Cox is a similar runner to David Wilson and Cox has turned some heads in camp with his quick cuts and acceleration.
Right now Wilson has been returning kickoffs. It might be in the Giants' best interest to keep Wilson healthy by allowing Cox to take over at that role despite Wilson’s success last season. If Cox makes the team and ends up getting a chance to show his talent, he could really catch on and become another weapon in the Giants’ arsenal.
Right now the Giants linebackers group is one of the most interesting groups to keep an eye on. The Giants will run a 4-3 defense and who the three linebackers will be is still completely up in the air. Based on what has gone on in camp, Keith Rivers, Mark Herzlich and Spencer Paysinger look to be in the lead for the starting jobs. Paysinger had four solo tackles on Saturday and no other linebacker had more than two.
Free agent signings Aaron Curry, Dan Connor and Kyle Bosworth are among the others who are looking to earn a staring spot. Bosworth seems to have a natural nose for the ball and seems to be involved in a tackle more often than not. Aaron Curry and Dan Connor are more experienced options who might have a better understanding of the Giants defense.
The race for the starting positions is wide open right now and that’s the way Tom Coughlin wants it. Leaving the starters unnamed will force the entire linebackers group to work hard day and and day out at camp and that is exactly what they are doing.
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