A move the Giants didn’t make on Tuesday could well be the most important of their trades to reduce the roster from 85 to 80 players. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard, who had to undergo surgery to repair a ruptured left Achilles tendon, was not placed on reserve/physically unable to perform, leaving him in the game to return early this season.
All five of the Giants’ moves were injury-related. Three players – tight ends Ricky Seals-Jones and rookie Andre Miller and rookie inside linebacker Darrian Beavers – were placed on the reserve/injured list, ending their seasons. Two players – offensive linemen Nick Gates and Matt Peart – were placed on the reserve/PUP list, meaning they will have to miss the first four weeks of the regular season.
Shepar, 29, is the longest serving Giants player, arriving in 2016 as a second round pick. He has had more than his fair share of physical problems, and his 2021 season ended in Week 15 when he tore his left Achilles tendon against the Cowboys on December 19. Shepard played in just seven games last season due to a quad injury.
He looked spry on the sidelines in camp, and the Giants think he could come back sometime in the first month of the regular season.
Beavers, a sixth-round pick, had an impressive summer, but tore his right ACL against the Bengals on Sunday night. Miller hurt his forearm during a camp workout. Seals-Jones was signed to compete for a runway, but he went down early in camp with a toe injury.
Gates’ career trajectory took a dive on September 16, 2021, when he suffered a broken tibia and fibula in week 2 against Washington.
His left leg got caught under defensive lineman Daron Payne. Gates, 26, suffered a horrific injury – a broken tibia and fibula – and required several surgeries to repair all the damage. Before the injury, Gates established himself as a solid NFL center, with the versatility to go back to guard if necessary.
Peart, 25, suffered a torn ACL in Week 16 last season. Peart, a 2020 third round draft pick, is an ideal size — 6-foot-7,318 pounds — but he didn’t develop as expected, starting just two games in his first two years.
The Giants must reach the 53-player limit by August 30.
Rookie outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux, who is expected to be out for three to four weeks with a sprained MCL in his right knee, is seeking a second opinion, which is not uncommon. He sends his report and MRI scan to Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopedic surgeon, for confirmation of the initial diagnosis. Thibodeaux was injured in Sunday night’s win over the Bengals, and the Giants feel he has a chance to play in the September 11 season opener.