There is not necessarily an advantage to the New York Giants playing without wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall. But if there is a silver lining, it is that the Giants are testing their depth at a crucial position and may have some solutions.
Beckham (ankle sprain) and Marshall (shoulder) did not play in Saturday night’s 32-31 win over the New York Jets, the first win of the preseason for the Giants. The offense wasn’t necessarily great, the first team unit getting just a single touchdown in the first half and that was on the ground.
In fact, the Giants haven’t had a passing touchdown all preseason, something that might be explained by the absence of Beckham and Marshall.
“We were confident going into the game with the players that we have on the roster. We feel like we have some tight ends and some receivers, even with the caliber of the players we had out, that can get open,” Giants head coach Ben McAdoo said on a Sunday conference call. “I think it showed up that we need to be better against press coverage with those players. We’ll address that in the room tomorrow, but I feel we had some guys step up and take advantage of their opportunities.”
Rookie wide receiver Travis Rudolph led the Giants with 81 receiving yards on three receptions and Sterling Shepard, now in his second year, added two catches for 47 yards.
Another bright spot was Roger Lewis, also in his second year, who added two catches for 30 yards.
The duo of Beckham and Marshall figure to make the Giants offense a formidable one. Beckham is a three-time Pro Bowl selection now entering his fourth year in the NFL and Marshall is one of the best wide receivers of his generation.
In fact, he’s just a couple years removed from over 1,000 receiving yards with the Jets.
McAdoo is hopeful that both players could be ready to go and begin practice this week. Neither is likely to play in the preseason finale but ideally, they’ll be ready and raring to go for the season opener at the Dallas Cowboys in two weeks time.
“We’ll see. We practice tomorrow, and we’ll get up in the morning and see how they respond to what’s going on medically, the treatment that they’re getting,” McAdoo said. “And if they’re able to go, we’ll practice them.”