The New York Giants‘ defensive line got a facelift this week, as a few of their young guns will be thrust into the starting lineup due to sudden injuries.
Neither Linval Joseph nor Cullen Jenkins, who both start as defensive tackles, practiced on Thursday. Veteran Shaun Rogers has also been out with an injury, which means rookie Johnathan Hankins will have to fill in at defensive tackle on Sunday.
Hankins was inactive for the Giants through the first four weeks of the season. New York drafted Hankins out of Ohio State in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft. So far, word around the campfire on Hankins has been positive.
Yesterday, ESPN New York’s Dan Graziano quoted head coach Tom Coughlin: “I liked Hankins’ work a week ago,” Coughlin said. “I thought he was a really difficult guy for us to block in practice from an offensive standpoint, and I really felt like John was ready to contribute, and I feel the same way right now. I’m looking forward to watching him play.”
Rookie defensive end Damontre Moore will also see increased minutes on Sunday. Moore, who blocked a punt last Sunday, has been relegated to special teams for the majority of the season. In an effort to try and generate some kind of pass rush, the Giants will likely use the third-round draft pick in certain packages against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
The New York Giants are tied for last in sacks with just four through the first four weeks. This week, the coaching staff will pray that the answer lies within the fountain of youth.