Covering DK Metcalf is tough. So is figuring out how to replicate his size and skills in practices.
The Giants are trying to cope with the latter part of that problem before they get to Sunday and have to face the real deal in Seattle.
"You have to find the best guy on your team who can at least kind of simulate some of the size," Joe Judge said of Metcalf’s 6-4, 229-pound frame. "But listen, this guy is a rare guy. You try to simulate his size and speed and playmaking down the field. You don’t have a lot of guys walking the earth like him."
The Giants’ biggest wide receiver is rookie Austin Mack, who is listed at 6-2, 215. Fellow rookie Binjimen Victor, on the practice squad, is 6-4 but only 199 pounds. The Giants will therefore look to other position groups for their Metcalf body double. Evan Engram (6-3, 240) is close, as is fellow tight end Kaden Smith (6-5, 249). The player who comes the closest in the measurables may be third-string quarterback Clayton Thorson at 6-4, 222.
Metcalf leads the NFL with 1.039 receiving yards, including nine touchdown receptions and 16 catches of 20 or more yards.
The Giants’ defensive backs may be physically dwarfed by Metcalf — their top coverage man, James Bradberry, is 6-1, 212 — but Judge wants to make sure they are not mentally in his shadow.
"The reality is, you have to do everything you can to give your players the right looks from tape, the right looks in practice," Judge said. "We all understand this guy is a tremendous player. He’s an elite player in the league. We can’t do anything to just flat out replicate it, so we have to do the best we can in practice, and then prepare our guys mentally so when they see him on the field they understand it’s going to be different than what they’ve necessarily seen in practice."
Notes & quotes: WRs Sterling Shepard (toe/shoulder) and Darius Slayton (shoulder/foot) were limited in Wednesday’s practice. So were LB David Mayo (knee) and special teams captain Nate Ebner (knee) … After seeing the Broncos forced to play without a quarterback thanks to COVID-19 protocols last week, the Giants are isolating six members of their practice squad from the rest of the team this week. They will work virtually. "I think every team in the league had similar conversations considering, not only just the quarterback position, but several key positions throughout the team: Is it worth keeping those guys isolated and having them Zoom in for the meetings?" Judge said on Monday. "That’s definitely something we’re discussing right now. That is something we’re considering." Now it’s something they are doing.