Coach Pat Shurmur said it’s not worth getting fined in the preseason for openly questioning a call, but he clearly disagreed with the penalty assessed to linebacker Mark Herzlich on Friday night for lowering his head to initiate contact (i.e. the new helmet rule).
“I have a very strong opinion of that play,” Shurmur said on Saturday. “We’re going to send that play in to get evaluated and we’ll see what they say.”
On the play it appeared as if Lions running back Theo Reddick initiated the contact with Herzlich’s helmet as the linebacker blitzed. There was definitely contact, but it seemed as if the wrong team was penalized.
“Things happen fast in the games and we all certainly see things different in real speed,” Shurmur said. “Sometimes it gets left to interpretation when you replay it in HD very slowly . . . Part of the preseason is everybody getting used to the new rule, not only how to play the game but how to officiate it. I’m hopeful I’m going to get an answer on that play.”
Thin at running back
There was a scary moment on Friday when running back Jalen Simmons was down on the turf and being attended to by the medical staff. Eventually Simmons got to his feet and walked off the field, and Shurmur said he was doing better on Saturday, but he is now in the concussion protocol.
With Saquon Barkley still likely to be sidelined by his hamstring injury, that will leave the Giants with just three running backs in practice this week: Jonathan Stewart, Wayne Gallman and rookie Robert Martin.
“We’ll manage it,” Shurmur said. “We have ways that we can get in different personnel groupings.”
Shurmur said he might also use fullback Shane Smith as a halfback.
“We’ll make it work,” he said. “That’s just part of adjusting. I have a certain amount of work I want to get done and certain things we want to practice, but if you have fewer of this position and more of another you just feature those guys in practice.”
Beside Simmons, LB Calvin Munson is also in the concussion protocol after Friday’s game . . . The plane to bring the Giants home on Friday night was grounded at Newark due to the storms and did not arrive in Detroit to pick them up until 2 a.m. Saturday morning. The team did not land back in New Jersey until around 4 a.m. “Sleep is way overrated,” Shurmur said . . . Shurmur was non-committal when it came to the idea of Odell Beckham Jr. playing in Friday’s preseason game against the Jets. “We’ll see,” he said. Of the third preseason game, Shurmur said: “For some guys [its] the last real good opportunity to get game experience before the first [regular season] game.”