Did the Giants find a running back Sunday?
Maybe. With Orleans Darkwa inactive with a back injury and starter Paul Perkins sidelined by an in-game rib injury (not to mention consistent lack of production), rookie Wayne Gallman stepped in and instantly became the most exciting running back the Giants have used in what has been a lackluster season out of the backfield. In his first NFL game after being inactive for the first three — on his 23rd birthday no less — Gallman ran for 42 yards on 11 carries and caught a 4-yard touchdown pass. In the first three games, no Giants back had run for more that 53 (Darkwa on 13 carries).
“He ran hard,” guard Justin Pugh said. “He’s elusive, he’s a good running back.”
Is he the new starter? Should he be?
Maybe. He did take almost all of the reps in practice this past week just to make sure he was up to speed on the offense. And he’d like to be. “It’s a trust factor,” he said. “I’m going to do my best to get the starting job. It’s a competition between all of us. We challenge each other every day on the practice field to get better, so I expect that out of myself.”
What happened to Odell Beckham’s finger?
Late in the second quarter, just after catching a 15-yard pass, Beckham missed on a pass and jammed his right index finger.
“It just popped out,” he said. “It’s not the first time. It’s not a comfortable feeling. You’re running off [the field] and your finger is out of place.”
Beckham returned to the game with the finger reset and wrapped. “It’s pretty swollen,” he said. “It’ll be all right.”
How about his ankle?
In the fourth quarter, he injured that one, too, the same ankle that kept him sidelined in the first week of the season. He returned from that, too.
Any other injuries?
Yes. Olivier Vernon, who came in with an ankle issue from last week, aggravated it late in the second half and did not return. Starting center Weston Richburg left the game with a concussion in the second half. DT Damon Harrison bruised his knee late in the first half, but he returned.
How did the offensive line perform?
Considering how fluid their personnel was, pretty well. The Giants made a change to start the game, going with, from left to right, Ereck Flowers, John Jerry, Richburg, D.J. Fluker and Justin Pugh. It was their third different starting group in four games. Pugh came out for a few plays and was replaced by rookie Chad Wheeler. Richburg was replaced by Brett Jones.
“It was musical chairs today,” Pugh said. “Like, what else could have gone wrong for the offensive line today and this week? But I’m proud of these guys.”
Will Brad Wing be the Giants’ punter next week?
He shanked a kick in the fourth quarter, the second time in two weeks, but Ben McAdoo said he still has confidence in him. “Brad Wing is our punter,” McAdoo said. “He made one mistake today, right? A lot of guys made one mistake, including me.”