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Giants Q&A: Why left tackle Andrew Thomas started game on sideline

Andrew Thomas of the Giants moves up to

Andrew Thomas of the Giants moves up to block during the Blue and White scrimmage at MetLife Stadium on Aug. 28. Credit: Getty Images/Mike Stobe

Andrew Thomas began the game on the sideline. Why?

Joe Judge said the fourth overall pick in the 2020 draft and starting left tackle was benched for violating team policy. "I want to make clear, this was not performance-based at all," Judge said. "There was nothing disobedient, disrespectful or malicious in what he did, but he made a mistake and there are consequences for mistakes."

What did he do?

Judge wouldn’t say, but Thomas issued a statement after the game saying he was late for the team meeting on Saturday night. "Coach Judge always talks about actions have consequences, and I take responsibility for my actions . . . It won’t happen again."

So who started at left tackle?

Fellow rookie Matt Peart, and he played pretty well. Peart lined up for the first two series and also played a series later in the game after Thomas missed a weak-side block on Montez Sweat that led to a tackle for a loss on a third-and-1 run. That may have been a more performance-based decision, but Judge has rotated Peart into games for the last few weeks, so it’s hard to say.

What happened to C.J. Board?

The wide receiver got clobbered while trying to make a catch in the third quarter and had to be taken off the field on a back board. He was taken to a local hospital for observation and the Giants said he suffered a concussion and a sprained neck. "Good news-wise, even on the field, he was moving, he was conscious, he was responding, he had feeling," Judge said. "The feedback I was given was pretty positive on him overall. That was a relief."

Fellow wide receiver Darius Slayton said he did not see the collision, "but I heard it." He also said players were told Board was to be released from the hospital to return home on Sunday night.

What does one win mean in the NFC East?

A lot. Especially when the first-place team, Dallas, has only two wins and plays the Cardinals on Monday night. "It made me feel happy and confident knowing that everything is right in front of us still," defensive tackle Leonard Williams said of a glimpse at the standings before Sunday’s victory. "Even though we had no wins under our belt at the time, we still had some hope going forward."

What now for the Giants?

They face the Eagles in a Thursday night game that is scheduled to start about 100 hours after Sunday’s wrapped up, and they’ll be doing so with some banged-up players. Blake Martinez, Jabrill Peppers and Darius Slayton were among the starters who missed snaps with injuries on Sunday and now must have a quick turnaround.

After the celebration in the locker room ended, Judge said he reminded the players that it was "Wednesday night" in Eagles week. "We have to turn around and get our bodies right, get focused, and get ready to work," he said.

The Eagles (1-4-1) might be in worse physical shape after their loss to the Ravens. They came in missing seven offensive starters, including four offensive linemen, and then lost two more when running back Miles Sanders and tight end Zach Ertz had to leave in the second half.

New York Sports