Daniel Bellinger

Latest On Giants’ Offensive Line

Andrew Thomas‘ absence was glaringly visible on a historically bad pass-protection night. The Giants’ 11 sacks allowed set a Monday Night Football record, with backup left tackle Joshua Ezeudu struggling as the Seahawks padded their total late in the rout.

The Giants are expected to be without Thomas against the Dolphins as well. Brian Daboll said he is leaning no on the All-Pro left tackle coming back for Week 5. Thomas sustained a setback on his way back from the strained hamstring he suffered in Week 1, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. This will make four straight absences.

Ezeudu, who worked as a backup left tackle during parts of training camp, was expected to win one of the guard battles this summer. But those went to Ben Bredeson and Mark Glowinski. Though, the team’s setup inside has changed as well. Despite signing a three-year deal worth $18.3MM, Glowinski has endured multiple demotions this season. The Giants benched the longtime Colts starter after his Week 1 struggles, and the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy notes the veteran has been bumped to the bottom of the depth chart.

New York demoted Glowinski a second time during Week 2, and he did not play an offensive snap in Week 3. Bredeson and 2022 fifth-round pick Marcus McKethan, who missed all of his rookie year due to an ACL tear, opened Week 4 as Big Blue’s guard starters. Pro Football Focus ranks all three blockers outside the top 55 among guards. Shane Lemieux started ahead of Glowinski in Week 3 but suffered a groin injury Monday. The door keeps reopening for Glowinski, a four-year Colts right guard starter whom PFF viewed as a top-30 guard in his first Giants season. A 2024 release seems likely at this point, however. That move will save the Giants $5.7MM.

The Giants did not invest much in guards this offseason, having signed Glowinski in March 2022 and drafted Ezeudu in Round 3 a month later. No answers have come for the team, which has also seen right tackle Evan Neal continue to struggle. This allowed for Seahawks target practice on Daniel Jones on Monday night, and the Giants have since added Justin Pugh. The former 2013 Giants draftee joined the practice squad, but given the team’s guard state, the five-year Cardinals starter should be expected to be elevated soon.

Some additional shuffling became required after center John Michael Schmitz suffered a shoulder injury on the Giants’ failed “Tush Push”-style QB sneak. Adding insult to injury, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes tight end Daniel Bellinger sustained an MCL strain on that play. While Bellinger’s injury is seen as moderate, the Giants losing two regulars on that play — after only previously repping it in a walkthrough setting — compounds the troubles they are experiencing up front.

Matt Peart resides as the only other tackle on the Giants’ roster, in the event the team benches Ezeudu. Thomas, who is now the NFL’s second-highest-paid O-lineman after signing a $23.5MM-per-year extension this summer, is on track to match his career high for single-season absences. He missed four games in 2021 as well.

Injury Updates: Eichenberg, Smith, Parker, Moore, Bellinger

Dolphins guard Liam Eichenberg was carted off the field in this Sunday’s trip to Detroit. The injury isn’t as serious as initially feared, but it appears Eichenberg has suffered an MCL injury and will miss some time, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

Miami will have options to replace Eichenberg. Michael Deiter started eight games at center last year for the Dolphins and 15 games at Eichenberg’s left guard position in 2019. Brandon Shell and Greg Little are also options with plenty of starting experience, albeit at tackle. Robert Jones is also an option after starting a game last year.

Here are a few other injury updates from around the NFL:

  • The Vikings are expected to be down another tight end after Irv Smith suffered a high ankle sprain in Sunday’s win over the Cardinals, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. With Ben Ellefson on injured reserve, Minnesota will have to rely on veteran Johnny Mundt who came over from Los Angeles in the offseason. Mundt has had limited targets this year with Minnesota’s litany of talented pass catchers, but his 12 receptions are already more than he had during his five years with the Rams. The Vikings will also likely explore the option of signing one of its two practice squad tight ends, Jacob Hollister and Nick Muse.
  • After suffering a knee sprain on the first play of the Patriots’ win over the Jets this weekend, wide receiver DeVante Parker is not expected to miss extended time, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Rapoport reports that if he does miss time, it should only be one game, especially since New England has a bye after next Sunday’s contest against the Colts. He should definitely be back in time for a rematch with the Jets in Week 11.
  • Colts cornerback Kenny Moore suffered a right hand sprain in practice last week, according to James Boyd of The Athletic. As Boyd inquired about the injury, Moore revealed that he has also been playing with a torn ligament in his left hand since the start of the season. Neither injury is expected to hold Moore out of any games, but this interview offered a glimpse into what Moore has been playing through this year.
  • After a gruesome freak accident that saw Jaguars rookie linebacker Devin Lloyd strike Giants tight end Daniel Bellinger directly in the eye on a whiffed attempt to punch the ball out, Bellinger reportedly “underwent successful surgery to correct fractures on (the) lower window of (his) eye socket and damage to (his) septum,” according to Fowler. Bellinger hopes to return in two to six weeks, but other sources indicate that four to six weeks is a much more reasonable timeline.

NFC East Notes: Commanders, Dillard, Giants

The Commanders are planning to open Chase Young‘s practice window next week, Ron Rivera said Thursday. Designating Young to return off the reserve/PUP list will give the former Defensive Rookie of the Year three weeks to be activated. Young has not played since suffering a right ACL tear, and his reconstructive surgery required a graft from his left patellar tendon. This pushed Young’s timetable to midseason. Washington has used James Smith-Williams (two sacks) alongside Montez Sweat (three) this season. The team has been cautious with Young, who last played on Nov. 14, 2021, doing so despite Rivera not exactly being on a tepid seat.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Washington has discussed demoted cornerback William Jackson in trades, and teams have also expressed interest in Daron Payne. But the Commanders are still planning to hang onto the fifth-year defensive tackle, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes. Washington did not progress far with Payne on extension talks but rebuffed trade inquiries this offseason. Its D-tackle equation has changed since then. Second-round rookie Phidarian Mathis is out for the season. Both Payne and longtime D-tackle mate Jonathan Allen lead the Commanders with 3.5 sacks apiece; Payne also tallied a safety this season. One of the NFC’s seven 3-4 teams, the Commanders do not necessarily have to be sellers. But they are in the conference’s toughest division, making a road to the postseason more difficult.
  • Staying on the trade front, Andre Dillard continues to generate interest. Mentioned in trade rumors before last year’s deadline, the Eagles’ swing tackle might be available this year. The Eagles are believed to be open to moving the former first-rounder, Fowler adds, but they are likely to want at least a third-round pick to move on. Dillard is in a contract year. He would probably be a starter on several teams but operates as a swingman behind Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson. Dillard’s injury history (23 missed games) also stands to affect his value.
  • The Giants will be without one of their tackles for a while. Evan Neal suffered what is believed to be a grade 2 MCL sprain and is expected to miss at least three games, per Fowler and NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter links). Neal stabilized his rookie season a bit after a disastrous night against the Cowboys’ menacing pass rush, but an IR move might be in the cards here. The Giants used Tyre Phillips as Neal’s replacement against the Jaguars. Formerly the Ravens’ starting left guard, Phillips arrived in New York via waiver claim. He rejoined ex-Baltimore teammate Ben Bredeson in New York, but the Giants’ starting left guard is also set to miss time after a Week 7 injury.
  • Daniel Bellinger also left the Giants-Jaguars game due to injury. The team’s starting tight end will soon undergo surgery to repair a fractured eye socket and septum, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post tweets. Brian Daboll said it is too soon to count on Bellinger returning this season, though Schwartz adds this is not believed to be a season-ending malady. Stepping in as a starter despite being a rookie fourth-round pick, Bellinger has 16 receptions (third in an evolving Giants aerial attack) for 152 yards and two touchdowns. The San Diego State alum also has a rushing score this season. Tanner Hudson is the only other Giant tight end with a catch (three) this year.

Injury Updates: Giants, Leonard, Smith, Rivers, Sharpe

In a sequence of events that no one ever wants to see, the Giants had four players leave their final preseason game this Sunday with injuries. Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor was carted off the field after a vicious hit to the chest by Jets pass rusher Micheal Clemons. New York also saw three players leave the game with concussions, but only one of them made the final roster: tight end Daniel Bellinger.

Head coach Brian Daboll has insisted that Taylor’s back injury is not serious, according to Darryl Slater of NJ.com. This is great news for Giants fans who may have worries that starting quarterback Daniel Jones will continue his trend of not being able to appear in every regular season game the Giants play. Since being drafted in 2019, Jones has missed at least two games each year, sitting out of six contests over the past year alone.

The Bellinger-concussion is significant as the fourth-round rookie out of San Diego State is currently set to start at tight end for New York with Ricky Seals-Jones on injured reserve to start the year. Going into the season as a rookie starter, Bellinger needs all the practice he can get before the season opener in Nashville.

Here are a couple other injury updates from around the league, starting with some good news from the Hoosier State:

  • The Colts are thrilled to get star linebacker Shaquille Leonard back in practice after the three-time first-team All-Pro missed the entirety of training camp, according to Nick Shook of NFL Network. Indianapolis activated Leonard just before it would be forced to commit him to the reserve/physically unable to perform list to start the season. This means he won’t be forced to miss the first four games of the year after offseason back surgery, but it doesn’t rule out that he still might. General manager Chris Ballard told James Boyd of The Athletic, “I can’t give you a timeline. Maybe Week 1, maybe Week 6. We’ll work and we’ll deal with it however we gotta deal with it.”
  • The Ty Smith that will start at left tackle for the Cowboys against the Buccaneers on September 11 may not be the one Dallas’s fans were hoping for. First-round pick Tyler Smith is being forced out at tackle with incumbent starter Tyron Smith on injured reserve. The latter Smith is set to undergo surgery this Friday that will “reattach a torn hamstring tendon to his left knee,” according to Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News. The “uncommon sports injury” will likely hold the 31-year-old out until at least December.
  • Texans defensive end Derek Rivers will start the season on injured reserve after suffering a torn biceps tendon this week, according to Mark Berman of FOX Houston. Rivers earned his first career start with the Texans last year, tallying one sack on the year for Houston. The elbow injury is expected to keep Rivers out for up to three months.
  • Offseason free agent addition for the Bears wide receiver Tajae Sharpe will miss the entire 2022 season with a rib injury, according to Adam Jahns of The Athletic. The length of the absence was confirmed by head coach Matt Eberflus.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/24/22

Today’s minor moves around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos 

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

The biggest storyline of the day for the Giants was the injury to Johnson, but they have been busy at other positions as well. Hand was a fifth-round pick of the Vikings in 2020, making 23 appearances during his time there. He primarily played on special teams, but registered an interception and three pass breakups as a rookie. Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets that Minnesota was interested in re-signing him had he cleared waivers.

The release of Akins is somewhat surprising, given the Giants’ question marks at the tight end position. The former Texans third-rounder signed just before the draft, where New York added Daniel Bellinger in the fourth round. The latter had a brief stint on the PUP list at the start of training camp, but, if healthy, could be the favorite to take on Evan Engram‘s vacated starting spot.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/27/22

Today’s minor NFL transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Signed: OL Keenan Forbes, G Eric Wilson

Giants Place TE Daniel Bellinger On PUP List

The Giants have a new-look TE room in 2022, but the first piece of news at the position as training camps are set to open isn’t a positive one. The team announced on Thursday that rookie Daniel Bellinger has been placed on the active/PUP list with a quad injury. 

The San Diego State alum signed his rookie deal earlier this week, allowing him to shift his attention to a training camp which should provide him every opportunity to carve out a significant role in the Giants’ offense. New York no longer has Evan Engram or Kyle Rudolph at the position, so a starting role is available to be won this summer.

Bellinger’s lack of production in college (no more than 357 receiving yards in a single season) contributed to his name not being called until the fourth round of the draft. Still, his time with the Aztecs showcased a combination of receiving and blocking skills which should give him a path to playing time right away in the NFL. Bellinger received first-team reps during spring workouts, so his absence will be felt when veterans report to camp next week.

Other than Bellinger, the Giants currently have veterans Ricky Seals-Jones and Jordan Akins on the roster. They will see an uptick in practice snaps while Bellinger recovers from the injury, the severity of which is unknown. Fortunately for Big Blue, he can be activated at any time, allowing him to continue getting acclimated to an offense much in need of a step forward in 2022 when he is able to do so.

Giants Sign Fourth-Round TE Daniel Bellinger

Another member of the Giants’ rookie class has officially inked his first NFL deal. The team announced on Monday that tight end Daniel Bellinger has signed his rookie contract. 

Bellinger spent five seasons at San Diego State, taking on a significant role starting in his second campaign. He didn’t put up the receiving numbers of other, more highly-touted prospects at his position at any point during his tenure with the Aztecs, though his best production came in his final season. He totalled 357 yards on 31 receptions, while showcasing the athleticism which had many draft analysts noting he was likely underutilized in the team’s offensive system.

Despite the relatively pedestrian production Bellinger put up across his 43 college contests, he could have a path to significant playing time as a rookie. New York no longer has Evan Engram or Kyle Rudolph on the roster, so the six-foot-six, 255-pounder saw reps with the first-team offense during the spring. With a (presumably) healthy Saquon Barkley and a pass-catching corps including Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney and second-round rookie Wan’Dale Robinson, though, Bellinger likely won’t see many targets early on during his time in the Big Apple.

Bellinger will be competing for a starting spot with veterans Ricky Seals-Jones and Jordan Akins, both of whom signed one-year deals this offseason as stopgaps in the absence of Engram and Rudolph. If not immediately, then in the near future at least, he should be able to take on a significant role as the team looks to take some much-needed steps forward on offense.

Given today’s news, nine members of the Giants’ draft class have now been signed. Only Robinson and fourth-round safety Dane Belton have yet to finalize their contracts.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Eagles, Lamb

The Giants‘ long-rumored James Bradberry separation leaves them thin at the cornerback position. Although Big Blue should not be ruled out of a veteran addition here, the team is turning to one of its holdovers to fill Bradberry’s spot. Aaron Robinson, a 2021 third-round pick, is the early favorite to start on the outside opposite Adoree’ Jackson, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY notes. A 2021 third-round pick out of Central Florida (by way of Alabama), Robinson played in just nine games last season and made two starts. Despite beginning the season on the PUP list due to an offseason core surgery, Robinson played 243 defensive snaps as a rookie. The Giants also have 2021 slot corner Darnay Holmes as a possible outside option in Don Martindale‘s defense, per Vacchiano, with third-round rookie Cor’Dale Flott competing with Holmes for the slot gig.

If the Giants are to pursue vets, many are available. Kevin King, Xavier Rhodes, Joe Haden and Trae Waynes remain free agents, as does ex-Martindale Ravens charge Jimmy Smith, though he has battled injuries and is going into what would be his age-34 season. Here is the latest from around the NFC East:

  • New York did make a replacement effort at tight end, after losing Evan Engram to Jacksonville. Ex-Texan Jordan Akins is a Giant, and Ricky Seals-Jones remains rostered. But fourth-round rookie Daniel Bellinger resides as a candidate to usurp both on the depth chart, Vacchiano adds. Bellinger, who played collegiately at Georgia, has taken first-team reps during OTAs. The 6-foot-6 pass catcher was a three-year Bulldogs contributor, though he only topped 350 receiving yards once (357 in 2021, a two-touchdown season).
  • Ex-Bellinger Bulldogs teammate Nakobe Dean entered the draft with more fanfare, though he nearly joined Bellinger as a Day 3 pick. The Eagles stopped the acclaimed linebacker’s freefall at No. 83 overall, doing so in part because they were high on his football IQ during the pre-draft process. In working at both the middle and weakside spots, Dean has a chance to carve out a significant role as a rookie, per NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Reuben Frank. This could mean Dean ascends to a three-down role as a rookie. The Eagles signed ex-Charger Kyzir White but nontendered 2021 regular Alex Singleton as an RFA. T.J. Edwards, however, has been a starter for the past two seasons. It will be interesting to see where Dean is once the Eagles convene for training camp.
  • Isaac Seumalo is involved in a rather high-stakes offseason. The injury-prone guard looms as a cut candidate, but he remains an option to be a Week 1 starter. This is by design, with Frank adding the veteran blocker will either be the Eagles’ right guard starter or be released. This appears a test to see if Seumalo (21 missed games since 2020) can still show the form that prompted the Eagles to give him a three-year, $17.6MM extension in 2019. Now that we are into June, a Seumalo release would create more than $5MM in cap space.
  • CeeDee Lamb has both bulked up and, strangely, grown a half-inch this offseason. The 23-year-old Cowboys wide receiver has gained 10 pounds and said he grew to 6-foot-2 1/2, Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News notes. With Jerry Jones calling Lamb a superior No. 1 option to the since-traded Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup unlikely to be ready for Week 1, Lamb will have plenty on his shoulders to start the season.