The New York Giants are pretty deep at wide receiver, as Victor Cruz leads a starting group that also consists of Rueben Randle and eventually Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants also have veterans Jerrel Jernigan and Mario Manningham filling out the depth chart, but the injury bug has been hitting the position all throughout training camp, leaving opportunities open for other players. One player taking advantage of the chances being given to him is Marcus Harris.
After spending all of last season on the team’s practice squad, Harris has been a standout all throughout training camp. He has been the surprise star at the receiver position thus far in practice. He was hurt Wednesday during practice, but already seeing so many of his teammates sidelined he knew he could not stay down long and he got right back to participating in practice. With all of the injuries they are facing, Harris has taken full advantage to get many more reps than originally thought heading into the summer.
He has stood out at practice thus far, as the Giants defense, and new loaded secondary, has dominated more often than not in practice. But they have not been able to contain Harris, who has managed to make an impact as his high football IQ always gets him in the right position to succeed.
He has been rewarded for the work that he is putting in at practice, getting a legitimate look at the slot in games. With Jernigan playing on the outside because of Beckham Jr. still being sidelined, someone has to take the reps in the slot and the Giants are giving that chance to Harris. Harris was lined up in the slot 15 out of the 18 plays Dan Graziano of ESPN New York charted against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday night. This follows his strong performance against the Buffalo Bills in the Hall of Fame game, when he was the Giants’ leading receiver.
While Harris is beginning to make an impact on offense, he is also an asset on special teams. That is really what could push Harris onto the final 53-man roster, as the versatility he offers is something the Giants would not get out of a player such as Manningham.
Beckham Jr., Randle, Jernigan and Trindon Holliday have all missed time thus far in training camp, leaving the door open for a player like Harris. Add in the fact Manningham is a limited participant every day because of his balky knee, and there could be a roster spot up for grabs and Harris is poised to take it if he continues performing the way he has thus far in camp.