New York Giants: Dan Connor Goes Down
The New York Giants can’t catch a break with injuries. First it was running back Andre Brown and then more recently, Da’Rel Scott went down with leg injuries. Next, Stevie Brown tore his ACL, continued by Prince Amukamara getting concussion in Week 1. Now Dan Connor is hurt and has been placed on season ending IR. The Giants are running out of answers at linebacker.
The Giants already had issues at linebacker, with not a single starter returning. Relying on Spencer Paysinger, Keith Rivers and Connor was dubious, but now they cannot even do that with Connor out. The logical replacement would seem to be Mark Herzlich, but he made it clear in preseason that he isn’t ready.
The Giants have a few options with how to proceed. The first is to use on three safety sets constantly, something they have loved to do in the past. Without Brown, the issue is that the Giants are low on trustworthy safeties. Things should improve when Will Hill returns from his suspension in Week 5, but until that happens, using three safeties is going to be hard.
The other option is to bring in Jacquain Williams more often. Williams played a fair amount of downs covering Jason Witten, but he struggles mightily against the run. If the Giants are to use their current linebackers, it is him or Herzlich, and neither solution is comforting.
It is fair to ask if Jerry Resse should have been more aggressive perusing Brian Urlacher in the offseason. Giving him a call now might be counterproductive, but it is something to consider.
It would seem the best option is to move Mathias Kiwanuka back to linebacker. He is more comfortable at defensive end, but the Giants have boatloads of talent there, and little talent at linebacker. He probably does not want to make the move, but the Giants have no other good alternatives at this point. Kiwanuka at defensive end seemed like a nice luxury for the Giants at the beginning of the year, but as the injuries mount up, it is clear the Giants just can’t afford it.