The Giants offensive line is getting healthier, which is good news for an offense — and a team — that currently could use all the help it can get.
The Giants play the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night at MetLife Stadium.
On Tuesday, coach Brian Daboll basically laid out the plan for the offensive line this week.
There’s good news: The belief is that the line will be back to full strength.
Left tackle Andrew Thomas said Tuesday in the locker room that his hamstring is better, but he wants to go through a full practice to know that he’s definitely ready. Thomas was injured in the season opener against the Cowboys and has missed the two games since.
It seems likely, barring a setback, that he will play.
Left guard Ben Bredeson is also likely to face the Seahawks. He continues to work his way through concussion protocol after missing Thursday’s game against the 49ers. The Giants believe he will be cleared.
Evan Neal is at right tackle, and Marcus McKethan is at right guard.
Rookie center John Michael Schmitz should once again be on the field with the starting offensive line. But he’s also already learned to be ready for anything.
“You’ve got to be able to adjust,” Schmitz said. “You never know what’s going to happen [in a game]. You’ve got to go out there and compete.”
Daboll said Josh Ezeudu would become a super-utility lineman, who can play any spot besides center.
“I think he’s done a good job of filling in,” Daboll said of Ezeudu, “and he has four-position [flexibility] for us.”
Ezeudu started the last two games at left tackle.
Perhaps the Giants will find comfort being at home and having recovered from the West Coast trip.
Through three games, quarterback Daniel Jones has been under pressure on 46.7% of his dropbacks, the highest rate in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. The league average last season was 34%.
That seemingly puts considerable pressure on the offensive line to deliver time and the quarterback to find open receivers. And all of it has to happen more quickly and effectively than it has been so far this season.
To enhance their pass protection, the Giants have kept in more players to help block.
They have used six or more pass-blockers more often than any team in the league, according to PFF.
But even when using added help, they have still given up pressure on 53.7% of those plays, the third-highest rate in the league. The league average is 33.5%.
As PFF wrote: “If you still can’t block with six or more players, you have a serious problem.”
The Giants hope and believe they have players who will grow into their roles.
“That’s why we move guys around a bunch during the preseason and training camp months because you can,” Daboll said. “If you’re not starting five, you better have some position flexibility to play multiple spots, so certainly an important aspect for us.”
Ezeudu, with his four-position flexibility, does a lot of studying during the week.
“It is a big responsibility,” he said. “I feel like any role on the team is big. [Staying ready] is something that you just have to know, that anything can happen and you’re [going to get into a game]. You study the whole defensive line, especially, because the majority of teams flip sides, they change personnel. So you still study the whole defensive line. You need to hold yourself to a high standard.”