Zach Fulton and Joe Looney retire. Kyle Murphy goes on the IR. Jonotthan Harrison is still on the PUP list. Shane Lemieux is recovering from a knee sprain.
Three weeks into training camp, and the Giants need linemen and fast.
The New York Giants released the first official depth chart on August 14, 2021. Nick Gates is the starting Center with Lemieux as LG and Will Hernandez as RG and LT Andrew Thomas and RT Matt Peart. While the team is steadfastly sticking to the young starters, they felt pretty confident entering the 2021 training camp with solid depth to complement their young offensive line.
Nate Solder returned from the COVID exempt list and looked to back up both Thomas and Peart. Jackson Barton also plays tackle as the second backup. As for interior linemen (centers and guards), the Giants signed Harrison to backup center behind Gates, signed Fulton and Kenny Wiggins to compete for guard spots behind LG Lemieux and RG Hernandez.
The Giants returned Chad Slade and Kyle Murphy from last year’s practice squad and signed undrafted free agents Brett Heggie and Jake Burton as interior backups.
Well, Lemieux sprained his knee in the first practices, which instantly put the Giants in a search mode for experienced guards. They sign Joe Looney…who lasts three practices and retires. Fulton follows with his retirement. And Murphy goes down after two snaps during Saturday’s preseason game with the Jets.
Suddenly, the Giants urgently need linemen to fill out the Giants’ roster.
Head Coach Joe Judge all but promised that the Giants will be bringing more offensive linemen in before the team heads to Cleveland and New England for joint practices and games these next two weeks.
Last Friday, the team signed veteran guard Ted Larsen. Larsen has eleven years (137 games, 88 starts) in the league playing for the Buccaneers, Cardinals, Bears, and Dolphins. He also has postseason experience and a Super Bowl ring from the Buccaneers.
The starting line (with Wiggins in place of Lemieux) played three series on Saturday. In total, the line played well except for one sack given up by Peart. But the backups were noticeably struggling against the Jets. There’s work to be done to keep Daniel Jones upright in 2021.
Look for more moves by Judge and Gettleman as linemen become available due to the NFL mandate for roster trimming these next three weeks.
Featured Image: New York Post