It’s hard to win in the NFL when you’re at full strength, and it becomes even harder when you’re banged up, and right now, the New York Giants(1-4) are banged up.
Coming into Sunday’s 44-20 loss to the Cowboys(4-1), New York was without wide receivers Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard, and during the game, it got worse. Running back Saquon Barkley left with an ankle injury in the first quarter, and QB Daniel Jones went out with a concussion in the second quarter. Also, wide receiver Kenny Golladay left with a knee injury.
“Our guys are going to keep playing,” Giants head coach Joe Judge said after the game. “That’s not even going to be a question. We’re going to play for 60 minutes. You don’t want anybody to get hurt. You don’t want your teammates to get hurt. You don’t want the other team to get hurt, either. I say it all the time, \but that’s just the truth. You want to have everyone come out of the game healthy. That’s part of the philosophy we believe in. In terms of the next-man-up mentality, well, there’s a lot of good examples today in the game. We have guys stepping up, taking on different roles, being productive, making plays.”
It’s rare for a team to lose its number one receiver, quarterback, and running back in the same game; according to Giants RB Devontae Booker, he’s never experienced anything like it.
“Not that I can recall,” Booker said. “It’s always just one or the other. This today, I was just like, damn. It is next man-up mentality, and we all have to go out there and perform and fight our butt off.”
Also, the Giants would lose rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney for another reason. In the fourth quarter, Toney, who caught 10 passes for 189 yards, both career-highs, got involved in a skirmish, which ended with him punching Cowboys safety Damontae Kazee.
After the game, Judge, who escorted Toney off the field, reacted to the rookie’s ejection.
“Look, there’s a pretty distinct line in terms of competing and doing the things we’re not going to condone as a team that put us behind,” Judge said. “That’s not going to be accepted. It’s not going to be condoned. That’s as far as I’m going to go with that. Obviously, it resulted in him leaving the game, and I’m just going to leave it at that right now.”
Without many of their top players, it will be tough sledding for New York, and it doesn’t get easier as they host the Rams next Sunday.
Watch below as Judge reacts to New York’s loss to the Cowboys: