The Giants’ 2022 NFL Draft class is taking a beating.
Outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux (first round) and inside linebacker Darrian Beavers (sixth round) were forced out of Sunday night’s 25-22 preseason victory over the Bengals at MetLife Stadium with knee injuries. This continued a trend this summer, as the rookies are having great difficulty staying on the field.
Already, offensive lineman Marcus McKethan (fifth round) is lost for the season after he tore his ACL. Safety Dane Belton (fourth round) is out with a fractured collarbone. Two third-round picks, cornerback Cor’Dale Flott (groin) and offensive lineman Josh Ezeudu (injury undisclosed) have not been practicing.
Late in the game, defensive lineman D.J. Davidson (fifth round) had to come out of the game.
Perhaps the Giants should take right tackle Evan Neal (first round) and wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson (second round) and secure them in bubble wrap until the regular season.
Blake Martinez started at one of the inside linebacker spots. It was his first game action since tearing his ACL in Week 3 last season.
C.J. Board did not help his cause in his quest to stick on the roster. He lost a fumble on a kickoff return and was forced out of the game in the second quarter with an injury to his ribs. Board did have a long kickoff return brought back by a holding penalty on Oshane Ximines. Meanwhile, WR Richie James had a 17-yard punt return. It was a rough night for the Giants special teams, as Chris Evans broke off a 73-yard kickoff return. On the play, kicker Graham Gano dove to get involved with the tackle and had to leave the game with a concussion.
With Gano out, punter Jamie Gillan was forced into kickoff duties and sent his kick to start the second half out of the end zone for a touchback. Gillan early in the fourth quarter was sent out to attempt a 31-yard field goal, which he nailed with ease. Safety Julian Love was the holder, filling in for Gillan, who usually handles that assignment.
Gillan had not kicked field goals since his college days at Arkansas-Pine Bluff.“You don’t lose the natural ability to kick the ball,’’ Gillan said. “But I don’t really work on it. I do some drop kicks for fun but that’s about it.’’
It was another quiet evening for Kenny Golladay, who was on the field for 21 snaps with Daniel Jones and did not get targeted once. Guard Max Garcia, No. 6 on the depth chart, started at center because of the rash of injuries at the position. Garcia remained in the game once the starters on the line were pulled. The second-unit offensive line, from left to right, was Devery Hamilton, Will Holden, Garcia, Chris Owens and Eric Smith.
The Bengals have a bit of a Giants flavor, with three former Giants players — defensive lineman BJ Hill, cornerback Eli Apple and safety Michael Thomas and two former Giants assistant coaches — defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo and linebackers coach James Bettcher. Anarumo this offseason interviewed for the head coaching position that went to Brian Daboll.
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