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Giants place Andrew Thomas on injured reserve with ankle injury

Andrew Thomas #78 of the Giants is helped

Andrew Thomas #78 of the Giants is helped off the field in the first half against the Los Angeles Rams at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Giants played most of the last two games without their best offensive lineman — and it showed. Now they’ll have to play the next month without him as well.

Andrew Thomas was placed on injured reserve Tuesday after suffering an ankle injury early in Sunday’s loss to the Rams. He’ll be required to miss the next three games, after which the Giants have a bye, so the next possibility for him to play is not until Nov. 22. The Giants are hopeful he can return at that point.

Until then, they’ll proceed with the players they have available and likely have Matt Peart and Nate Solder at the tackles. They elevated tackle Korey Cunningham from the practice squad after Cunningham was a gameday promotion and made his Giants debut on Sunday.

It will have the Giants starting their seventh different offensive line configuration when they play the Panthers on Sunday . . . in their seventh game of the season.

"We’ll just keep on coaching everyone who’s available to us," Joe Judge said on Monday in regard to the battered offensive line, before any decision was announced on Thomas.

The injury sends another jolt through a unit that has at times shown progress but has been torn apart by injuries. Starting center Nick Gates moved to guard in the second game of the season and promptly suffered a fractured leg that ended his season. Ben Bredeson has missed several games with a hand injury. Now Thomas will be sidelined.

Right guard Will Hernandez is the only lineman who has played every snap of the season so far.

Thomas, in his second year after being selected fourth overall in the 2020 draft, had shown much improved play early this season, most particularly in the game against the Saints which the Giants won. He was active but did not participate in the following game against the Cowboys due to a foot injury. He started at left tackle against the Rams before suffering the ankle injury to his opposite leg early in the second quarter. Peart replaced him in the game and on his first snap allowed a strip-sack that resulted in a turnover to the Rams.

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The Giants’ offense as a whole has been riddled with injuries. On Sunday, they played without Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney, and they may have to do the same this week against the Panthers.

"I don’t know if it has to do with players not being there, or if it has to do with poor technique, or whatever it is," Solder said of the Giants’ offensive struggles the past two games, "but those things have to be shored up so they don’t become blood in the water for [opponents’] attacks."

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TONEY OUT SUNDAY. Rookie WR Kadarius Toney injured his ankle Sunday as well. He was not placed on injured reserve but will miss Sunday’s game against the Panthers due to the aggravation of the existing injury, a source confirmed. The Giants hope he can return before their bye week … WR C.J. Board, who fractured his arm on Sunday, was also placed on injured reserve and will likely remain there for the rest of the season. WR Dante Pettis was signed from the practice squad to take his place on the active roster.

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