Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) sacks Cowboys quarterback Dak...

Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon (54) sacks Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott in a game earlier this season. Credit: Getty Images / Tom Pennington

Most NFL teams return from the open week on the schedule in better health than when they started it. Most NFL teams are not the 2017 Giants.

While it is true that Sterling Shepard is due back from an ankle injury against the Rams on Sunday — and not a moment too soon for the beleaguered wide receiving corps — the Giants on Friday listed six regulars as out on their injury report: linebackers Jonathan Casillas and B.J. Goodson, defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Kerry Wynn and offensive linemen Justin Pugh and Wes ton Richburg.

Add cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who was suspended Tuesday, and receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, who are out for the year, and more than a third of the projected opening day starting lineup will not play Sunday.

That is not good for a 1-6 team hoping to salvage some dignity. But the Giants remained stoic Friday. Not that they had any choice.

When someone suggested to Ben McAdoo that he appeared to be shorthanded again, the coach said: “No. We’ll have 46 [players]. We’ll have 46 available.”

Technically true. But some 46 are better than others.

“It’s not frustrating,” defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said. “It’s football. Football is football, you know? You can’t always count on a guy that’s going to be there. It’s a team sport.

“I feel like with the players that we have got here, we’re capable of getting the job done . . . We’re all professional athletes. That’s what we get paid for.”

Casillas, who has a neck injury, had hoped to play, but McAdoo said he is not ready.

“We’ll take a look at him again next week; it feels like he’s making progress,” Mc A doo said.

With Goodson and Casillas out, Keenan Robinson probably will make the defensive calls and Calvin Munson and Curtis Grant will see significant action. Grant, 24, has played in six NFL games and been credited with eight tackles.

Will he be ready? “I don’t have any choice but to be ready,” he said. “I think I’ll be fine. I get to show some of my talents at linebacker this week and make the best of it.”

Pugh, who has a back injury, is a pillar on the line, most recently playing right tackle. Asked about Bobby Hart playing right tackle, where he has struggled, McAdoo said, “Bob by had a good week of practice . . . Expect him to play his best game as a pro.”

Cornerback Donte Deayon hurt his ankle in practice Thursday and is questionable. If he cannot go, the team will be in dire straits there.

“If he can’t play, somebody else will play,” McAdoo said.

One alternative would be using a safety as a slot cornerback. “It’s not ideal, but it’s an option,” McAdoo said.

By the way, the Rams’ injury report listed no player as out.

Said Pierre-Paul: “This is an opportunity [for backups]. For me to get to this spot where I am today, somebody had to fall off, right? You know what I mean? So hopefully, the guys pick it up — do what we’ve got to do.”

More Giants


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months