The Giants will be without Evan Engram for a while, but the star tight end is expected to return this season from a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Engram suffered the injury when tackled after his only catch in Sunday’s win over the Texans. An MRI on Monday confirmed the diagnosis.
“We’ll just have to see how it progresses,” Pat Shurmur said Monday. Such injuries typically require four to six weeks of healing. That could project to the possibility of Engram's return after the Giants’ bye in Week 9.
Engram said Sunday evening that his knee “didn’t feel right” after taking the hit. He got up after he was tackled in front of the Giants’ bench and tried to limp back to the huddle, but instead returned to the sideline for treatment and did not return to the game. He walked out of the locker room on Sunday with a brace on his knee.
The second-year tight end is a key producer, having caught 10 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown through the first three games. Last year he caught 64 passes for 722 yards and six touchdowns.
Engram wasn’t the only Giant to suffer a knee injury as a result of a Texans tackle. On the first offensive play of the game, Saquon Barkley took a helmet to the knee and limped off. He was able to return. Shurmur said Barkley was “sore” Monday.
“When he has as much activity as he’s going to have, he’s going to have some soreness, but he’s OK,” Shurmur said. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard was also upended on a low tackle.
Shurmur didn’t think there was anything illegal or shady about the hits.
“I think that’s part of playing football,” Shurmur said. “When you’re running with the football, you have to protect yourself… Their style of tackling was to go low. Guys running with the ball have to be able to protect themselves.”
Notes & quotes: Shurmur said LB Olivier Vernon (ankle) and CB Eli Apple (groin) were running and going through rehab work on the field on Monday. “We’ll just have to see how far along they can come,” he said of their availability for practices this week … Shurmur said Chad Wheeler did "a good job" in run blocking in his first start of the season at right tackle after replacing Ereck Flowers. “He finished blocks,” Shurmur said. “I’m going to take responsibility for it, a couple times he got stretched out and just pure one-on-one [pass protection] against [J.J. Watt], and I can’t put him in those positions as many times as I did, but he battled and in my opinion, even though he got beat on a couple of snaps, I thought he had a winning performance.”