Leonard Williams’ absence felt as Giants get slashed on the ground

The Giants picked up two defensive starters but desperately missed a third.

The outside linebacker duo of Azeez Ojulari (season debut) and rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux (NFL debut) quietly returned Monday in the Giants’ 23-16 loss to the Cowboys, but the tackle’s value defense Leonard Williams has never been so obvious. The Giants turned to DJ Davidson, Nick Williams and practice squad call-up Henry Mondreaux to replace Williams, who missed a game through injury (MCL sprain) for the first time in his career of 114 games.

More help was needed. The Cowboys notched the Giants for 6.4 yards per carry, 178 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.

The passing rush hasn’t been noticeably better with 2021 second-round pick Ojulari and 2022 first-round pick Thibodeaux than it was in the first two weeks with backups Jihad Ward and Oshane Ximines playing on the edge. Dexter Lawrence also wasn’t as effective of an inside pass-rusher without Williams lined up next to him.

The Giants were outplayed on the field.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

Ojulari forced a holding penalty, but neither of the promising youngsters breathed so much on Cooper Rush. They combined for two tackles and no hits from the quarterback, switching sides of the lineup to see who might be more comfortable against a left side of the Cowboys line made up of rookie tackle Tyler Smith and future Hall. of Famer Jason Peters in his first game of the season and first in years at guard.

It is generally believed that the recovery time for an MCL sprain is around 2 to 4 weeks. Williams was injured on September 18.

After his role was reduced to two snaps last week against the Panthers, Kenny Golladay saw his playing time increase and eclipsed two snaps on the first drive.

But the $72 million free agent signing was no longer implicated in the box score.

Golladay, who said last week it’s a “fact” that he should play more, was out of three targets. A fourth pass to Golladay went incomplete late in the first half and a third pass (short of the sticks) was dropped by Golladay as he tried to make a move before securing the ball midway through the fourth quarter.

The crowd booed Golladay’s downfall. He has two catches for 22 yards this season and no touchdowns in 17 career games with the Giants. This lack of production combined with his contract makes a commercial market almost non-existent, no matter how much of his salary the Giants are willing to eat.

The Giants inducted seven members of a new class into their Ring of Honor at halftime. Four champions from Super Bowl XXI, Super Bowl XXV or both – DE Leonard Marshall and RBs Joe Morris, Ottis Anderson and Rodney Hampton – and two greats from decades ago – DB Jimmy Patton and HB/WR Kyle Rote – constituted the former players. Senior Vice President of Medical Services Ronnie Barnes, who has been on the team’s medical staff for 47 yards, was the other inductee. Broadcaster Bob Papa hosted the ceremony in midfield and was the only one to speak to the crowd. Each inductee received a blue jacket to signify the honor.

The Giants’ inactive seven included WRs Kadarius Toney and Wan’Dale Robinson, CBs Justin Layne (concussion), Nick McCloud (hamstring) and Aaron Robinson (appendix), Williams (MCL sprain) and OLB Tomon Fox (scratch healthy).

It was the eighth out of 20 missed games in Toney’s enigmatic career.

The Giants brought up CB Fabian Moreau and Mondreaux from their practice squad ahead of the game.

It was the second of three lifts allowed for Moreau, who played in a rotation with Cor’Dale Flott facing Adoree’ Jackson. Mondreaux, who has two career sacks, made his Giants debut with Williams sidelined. Safety Tony Jefferson, who was elevated for each of the first two games, was kept on the practice squad to buy more time before finding a spot on the active roster.

New York Post

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