By Curt Macysyn
The undefeated Houston Texans come into the Big Apple on Sunday to face a New York Giants team desperate to stop another September winless streak. The Giants’ brittle roster will be put through another test this Sunday, as the squad lost two more players for the season this week. With Jerrel Jernigan and Walter Thurmond being placed on injured reserve, the Giants have now lost 10 players to season ending—or in David Wilson’s case, career-ending—injuries in 2014.
One small glimmer of hope for the G-men is that their patch work offensive line will not have to face first overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney on Sunday. Clowney will miss several more weeks after undergoing knee surgery for a torn meniscus.
New York Giants
With Jerrel Jernigan and Walter Thurmond going on season-ending injured reserve, the Giants promoted wide receiver Julian Talley and linebacker Dan Fox from their practice squad. Tally had a good training camp and was in the mix to make the 53-man roster, except he got caught in a numbers game at his position. Fox was an undrafted free agent for the G-men this year, and he also made a good impression during the preseason. Talley may not be active for the Texans game, but because of injuries at the linebacker position, expect Fox to play on Sunday.
The aforementioned injuries at linebacker have both veteran middle linebacker Jon Beason (foot) and rookie Devon Kennard (hamstring) as ruled out for the game. According to multiple reports, Beason was seeing specialist, Dr. Robert Anderson, about the recurrence of his foot injury. Kennard was a bright spot in training camp, and he would have seen action in Beason’s absence, but now veteran Spencer Paysinger will try to hold down the fort on the outside instead.
Jameel McClain will go back to the middle linebacker position that he played throughout training camp and in the preseason.
Defensive tackle Markus Kuhn may see his first action of the season after missing the end of training camp and first two weeks of the season with an ankle injury. Punter Steve Weatherford is also dealing with an ankle injury, but he punted last week against the Cardinals and seems like a good bet to go against the Texans.
Surprise, surprise, Odell Beckham will not play against the Texans, as the rookie speedster has not recovered from his pulled hamstring. With Jernigan gone, look for Preston Parker to get the start in the three wide receiver set. Training camp phenom, Corey Washington, may also see the field more too. Reserve offensive linemen Charles Brown and James Brewer are both questionable again this week with injuries sustained in the preseason.
The Texans will be without number one overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney again this week. Clowney underwent knee surgery for a torn meniscus and will miss several more weeks. It seems like running back Arian Foster shows up on the injury report every week, and it also seems like Foster rushes for 125 yards each week. This week a hamstring malady lands Foster on the injured list but fully expect him to play. Rookie Alfred Blue had 11 rushes for 40 yards against the Raiders, and the Texans can also call upon New Jersey native and third-year veteran Jonathan Grimes.
If starting left guard Ben Jones cannot play, then Xavier Su’a-Filo would get the start. Su’a-Filo was the Texans’ second round draft pick from UCLA.
According to Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com, “Earlier this week, Texans coach Bill O’Brien said it looked like Fiedorowicz would probably be ok to play, but they haven’t made any final determinations yet.” Fiedorowicz had a foot injury that kept him out of the lineup against Oakland.
Ganguli also reported that, “[Wide receiver DeAndre] Hopkins caught a bug, but is expected to play Sunday.” D.J. Swearinger forced and recovered a fumble against the Raiders on Sunday, so if he cannot play, that would be a big loss for the Texans because his backup, Shiloh Keo, has been declared out of the game. The only remaining safety on the roster is veteran Danieal Manning.
NEW YORK GIANTS
DT Markus Kuhn (Ankle)
P Steve Weatherford (Ankle)
OT James Brewer (Back)
OT Charles Brown (Shoulder)
WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (Hamstring)
LB Jon Beason (Foot)
LB Devon Kennard (Hamstring)
CB Walter Thurmond II (Pectoral/Injured Reserve)
WR Jerrel Jernigan (Foot/Injured Reserve)
WR DeAndre Hopkins (Illness)
CB Johnathan Joseph (Foot)
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (Foot)
SS D.J. Swearinger (Elbow)
G Ben Jones (Ankle/Knee)
RB Arian Foster (Hamstring)
DE/LB Jadeveon Clowney (Knee)
S Shiloh Keo (Calf)
For more Giants news and updates, visit Giants Central.
Curt Macysyn has been covering the New York Football Giants for the past two seasons for Examiner.com. Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Curt has followed and covered the New York Metropolitan sports scene for 35 years. He attended Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, NJ and is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick. His work can be found on Examiner.com.