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Giants' backup linemen must protect rookie QB Daniel Jones

Giants offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei, left, and offensive

Giants offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei, left, and offensive tackle Paul Adams participate in a drill at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Giants released their first unofficial depth chart on Tuesday, and it showed Paul Adams as the fourth left offensive tackle and Chad Slade as the third right guard.

But because of injuries to tackles Chad Wheeler, Brian Mihalik and George Asafo-Adjei, there were Adams and Slade in practice, manning left and right tackle for the second unit in front of rookie quarterback Daniel Jones.

It is possible Jones will start against the Jets in Thursday night’s preseason opener, but even if that happens, he likely would stay in the game longer than the starting tackles do.

That means that come the second quarter, the two most important Giants on the field might be Adams and Slade. They could be the primary protection for the franchise’s quarterback of the near future.

“Like you said, we’re protecting ‘the Franchise,’ so if anything happens to him, it’s going to happen to all of us,” Slade said after practice. “We’re definitely not trying to let that happen. I believe in us. I believe in my technique. I believe everything Coach has been preaching about. We’re ready to go.”

Said Adams: “He’s ‘the Franchise.' He’s the future of this team. Definitely, that puts a little more giddy-up to you. At the same time, it really doesn’t matter who it is. You have to protect whoever it is.”

Adams is an undrafted rookie out of Missouri. Slade spent most of the past three seasons on the Texans’ practice squad and played in five regular-season games late in 2017.

Slade has been down this road before. He played in quarterback Deshaun Watson’s preseason debut for the Texans in 2017.

“That was Deshaun’s first game, so we were trying to protect that franchise, and it was something that fans were looking for,” he said. “I’m just ready to play games. This is the moment we’ve been practicing for.”

Blue notes

Pat Shurmur declined to say who will play and for how long Thursday, other than to confirm Jones will see action. One player who definitely will not see the field is WR Sterling Shepard, who confirmed that himself on Tuesday. He has been practicing despite wearing a splint on his broken left thumb. He said he tries to catch the ball with one hand when possible . . . WR Golden Tate left practice early to travel to New York for his appeal of a four-game suspension for violating the performance-enhancing drug policy.

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