The New York Giants will close out their preseason schedule Sunday afternoon when they take on the New York Jets in their annual preseason game.
This will be the 53rd preseason matchup between these two franchises with the Jets ahead in the series 26-25-1.
These two teams had a joint practice on Thursday, so expect to see some of the starters on the sidelines. Expect said starters that do play will see limited action.
With teams needing to trim down their rosters to 53 by Tuesday at 4 PM ET, this will be the last opportunity for players to make an impression on head coach Brian Daboll and his staff.
Of the noteworthy items to keep an eye on in Sunday’s game, there are three things to look for in the preseason finale.
Wide receivers looking to stand out
Losing Collin Johnson for the season due to a torn Achilles is a huge blow for the Giants. His departure gives other receivers a chance of making the 53-man roster.
The top four receivers on the New York Giants’ roster seem to be solidified with Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Wan’Dale Robinson and Sterling Shepard who returned to the practice field since tearing his Achilles in December.
New York will likely keep seven receivers on the roster which leaves three positions up for grabs. The top candidates competing for the final spots are Darius Slayton, David Sills, Alex Bachman, Richie James and C.J Board. For his part, Slayton has been subjected to trade rumors over the past week. The receivers who perform the best against the Jets stand a good chance of being on the final roster.
New York Giants looking to get pressure off the edge
The Giants were expected to have a formidable pass rush this season with fifth-overall pick Kayvon Thibodeaux and second-year outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari.
However, injuries leave their availability for Week 1 into question. To make matters worse, Elerson Smith may not be able to suit up for the season opener against the Tennessee Titans either. Jihad Ward is also working his way back from injury.
So the onus of trying to muster a pass rush from the outside will fall on Oshane Ximines, Quincy Roche and Tae Crowder who lined up on the outside this week in practice.
These players as well as the other players vying for a roster spot must show that they can generate a pass rush because they might be called upon for a bigger role than they initially thought coming into the season. That’s especially true with Thibodeaux sidelined to an MCL injury.
New York Giants looking to come away from this game injury-free
Above anything else, head coach Brian Daboll wants to come away from this game injury free. The Giants will play one of the more physical teams in the NFL in the Tennessee Titans in Week 1, and they can ill-afford another injury to their roster.
Starting guard Shane Lemieux will miss the start of the season due to a foot injury, and as we mentioned New York is very thin at edge rusher. Any other injury regardless of the position would be devastating.
The final score of the game is irrelevant. Not having any more players added to the injury list is.