The Giants will place cornerback Janoris Jenkins on injured reserve as he battles an ankle injury, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Jekins will undergo surgery later today, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.
Jenkins has reportedly been playing with a “debilitating” ankle issue that has limited his ability to cut and change direction, so it’s no surprise that New York is choosing to shut down the veteran defensive back in what has become a lost 2017 campaign. Despite his injury, Jenkins hasn’t been terrible, although he certainly hasn’t produced like a shutdown corner (as he did in 2016). In nine games, Jenkins graded as the NFL’s No. 42 corner among 118 qualifiers per Pro Football Focus, and ranked ninth in Football Outsiders’ success rate.
Of course, Jenkins has also been involved in off-field controversy this year, as the Giants suspended him for one week late last month. The 29-year-old Jenkins reportedly violated team rules and became the second Big Blue cornerback — joining Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie — to be handed a team-issued ban by New York this year.
With Jenkins sidelined, the Giants will likely turn to Ross Cockrell, whom the club acquired from the Steelers prior to the season, as a new starting corner. He’ll likely play opposite Eli Apple, although Apple is going through his own off-field issues. Rodgers-Cromartie will continue to man the slot, while recent signees Brian Dixon and Darryl Morris could theoretically see playing time given New York’s lack of secondary depth.
Jenkins signed a five-year, $62.5MM contract with the Giants prior to the 2016 campaign, and he’s $10.9MM in non-guaranteed base salary next season. While there’s been no indication New York has any interest in releasing Jenkins, the club could soon be under new management (both in the front office and on the coaching staff). The Giants would save $7MM by cutting Jenkins next spring.
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