Like seemingly everything the Giants do, finalizing the 53-man roster will be severely affected by injuries.
In Wednesday night’s preseason finale against the New England Patriots, New York is without several players who were already on the bubble. For the healthy players on the cusp of making the team, Wednesday should be a make-or-break affair:
• The absence of CB Bruce Johnson (shoulder) definitely bodes well for Justin Tryon. It’s not clear how many cornerbacks the Giants would keep -- it depends on whether Terrell Thomas (knee) gets placed on IR -- but Tyler Sash’s four game suspension gives the team a little wiggle room. When Sash returns, Thomas could go on IR or one cornerback could be cut.
• WR David Douglas is threatening to take all of Jerrel Jernigan’s roles: backup slot receiver, punt returner and kick returner. The undrafted rookie does have practice squad eligibility, so Jernigan might keep his spot on the 53-man roster because it gives the Giants more flexibility going forward. The bottom line is, Jernigan -- who has battled leg soreness -- has not been great in the preseason and needs a good performance against the Patriots to reaffirm the Giants’ decision to select him in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
• With DE Adrian Tracy (hamstring) on the sideline for the final preseason game, undrafted rookies Matt Broha and Adewale Ojomo are gunning for the last spot at the position. The pair has combined for five sacks in three games.
• Rookie T Matt McCants has promise, but he doesn’t project as a contributor this season. James Brewer’s back injury will give him more opportunities against the Patriots defensive ends (specifically first-round pick Chandler Jones) so he’ll have a chance to solidify a roster spot. If he doesn’t play well, however, the Giants could try to sneak him on to the practice squad.
• If DT Marcus Thomas can knock off the rust against New England, the Giants would feel more comfortable putting Shaun Rogers (blood clot) on IR. If not, the Giants may resist that urge and see if the massive veteran can come back this season. Thomas had a pectoral injury last season, but returned to the Denver Broncos lineup to record a career-high 43 tackles in a career-low 12 games. Thomas did not look particularly strong in last week’s preseason game against the Chicago Bears.
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