Friday, September 30, 2016, 8:26pm
Giants RB Rashad Jennings (thumb) took limited practice reps again Friday. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reported on Thursday that Jennings is unlikely to play. Orleans Darkwa figures to serve as the lead back with Jennings out. Bobby Rainey and Paul Perkins will also be involved.
Thursday, September 29, 2016, 6:45pm
Giants RB Rashad Jennings (thumb) took limited practice reps Thursday. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reported on Thursday that Jennings is unlikely to play, but they’re going to re-evaluate the thumb on Friday. Orleans Darkwa figures to serve as the lead back with Jennings out. Bobby Rainey and Paul Perkins will also be involved.
Shane Vereen is one of the NFL's best pass-catching backs, and he was a safety valve for quarterback Eli Manning. Vereen also was an asset in pass protection. Bobby Rainey figures to inherit many of Vereen's passing down snaps now, but he must do a lot to fill all the roles Vereen played. Rashad Jennings and Orleans Darkwa can also catch passes out of the backfield.
Related players: Paul Perkins
But the story kind of put a damper on Rainey's potential, saying they may not be able to use the short passing game like the did with Vereen. Instead, they may depend on Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard on screen and bubble passes more. Or, they may commit more to the run. The story added the team feels Perkins is ready to step up in the passing down role but added he struggled in preseason with pass protection.
Rashad Jennings was a late scratch with a thumb injury in Week 3.
Giants HC Ben McAdoo doesn't know yet if Jennings will be ready for the Vikings game.
"It's one day following the game," McAdoo said. "He has a long week to make some progress. We'll take a look at that at the end of the week."
The New York Giants lost more than the game against Washington on Sunday. Running back Shane Vereen is out for the season with a triceps injury that requires surgery, the team announced on Monday afternoon.
Vereen is the team's passing-down back, and he assumed feature duties on Sunday in the absence of Rashad Jennings, who missed the game with an injury of his own. He was off to an excellent start to the season, averaging 4.7 yards per carry and catching eight passes for 75 yards as well.
Friday, September 23, 2016, 6:21pm
Giants RB Rashad Jennings (thumb, questionable) took limited practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 3. Jennings is expected to play through the injury in Week 3. He’s only an RB3 option after not producing as expected against the Saints.
Thursday, September 22, 2016, 6:07pm
Giants RB Rashad Jennings (thumb) took limited practice reps again Thursday. Jennings is expected to play through the injury in Week 3. He’s only an RB3 option after not producing as expected against the Saints.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 6:15pm
Giants RB Rashad Jennings (thumb) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Jennings is expected to play through the injury in Week 3. He’s only an RB3 option after not producing as expected against the Saints.
Giants running back Rashad Jennings’ status against the Redskins appeared uncertain as he walked across the locker room Tuesday with a splint on his left thumb and a heavily wrapped hand. But Jennings said he plans to practice Wednesday and doesn’t expect to miss any time.
“I plan on practicing, going out there and running, going through the normal stuff,” Jennings said Tuesday. “We’ll tape it how I need to and keep playing ball.
“It’s just something you’ve got to deal with, the cost of playing football. I don’t look at it as slowing me down at all. Just part of the game, that’s really it.”
Jennings, who hurt his thumb in Sunday’s win over the Saints, said X-rays were negative and it primarily is a pain-management issue. He doesn’t believe his play will be affected by the injury, even if he has to wear a wrap or cast, the story said.
Jennings "banged his hand up a little bit" in the second half against New Orleans, but he should work when the Giants resume practice Wednesday. McAdoo did say he expects Jennings to be limited in some capacity, however.
"We'll see how practice goes," McAdoo said Monday on a conference call with the Giants press corps. "We'll know more when we see him out there on Wednesday. ... We'll know more when we see him."
The story said Jennings told WFAN's Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton on Monday morning the injury would not hold him back, and that, "we'll be rocking it." He's shaping up to be a solid play against Washington in Week 3.
A committee, while the most obvious approach with a spare-parts unit, isn't how Giants running backs coach Craig Johnson wants to deploy his backs.
"What I've learned is that if you can have a couple of guys playing a lot, then a spare guy, that's the best way to go," Johnson said, per the team's official website.
Johnson points to Rashad Jennings' play at the end of last season as evidence the veteran might be the man to carry the workload in 2016.
"At the end of the year, he was probably playing as well as any back in football," Johnson said of Jennings.
Giants beat writer James Kratch answered a question about the team's RB situation:
I expect the Giants to start the season with Rashad Jennings as their starting running back and Shane Vereen as the third down/hurry-up back, with Andre Williams being the short-yardage/change-of-pace guy.
I think rookie Paul Perkins could definitely make an impact, but my guess is that would come later in the season. If Jennings stays healthy, I think he can be the Giants' first 1,000-yard rusher since Ahmad Bradshaw in 2012.
Kratch said it helped last year the Gaints broke up the RB committee down the stretch and as a result Jennings took over as the hot hand behind an improved offensive line. Jennings is 30th on our RB list but is another later-round selection who could produce as part of your fantasy committee.
Ralph Vacchiano discusses the Giants' backfield:
Rashad Jennings, who I like a lot more than most fans (and media) seem to like, will be the likely workhorse and get the majority of carries. (By the way, hard as it is to believe, he got 48.3% of the carries last year, though I'd expect that to tick up.) Shane Vereen will again be the third-down back and primary receiver-out-of-the-backfield weapon. Maybe they get a little more creative with him. Maybe he just plays better. But I see him being more of a factor.
And then? Good question. I don't think Paul Perkins, their fifth-round pick, will have much of an impact in the offense this year. I think Andre Williams will likely get the first shot to be the short-yardage back, and the guy who spells Jennings for a series or two. How long that lasts depends on him. And I think Orleans Darkwa and Bobby Rainey have an uphill battle to make the roster.
Vacchiano also mentioned that the RB breakdown may depend on which coach came up with the "stupid" four-running back rotation the team used last year. If it was the now-departed Tom Coughlin, then the Giants will primarily use two or three running backs. If it was former OC/new HC Ben McAdoo, then all bets are off.
It sounds as if the Giants are looking more at their running backs than the offensive line for their run game failures. McAdoo made it clear that he's looking for significantly more from his runners.
Even when there isn't much room to run, he expects them to gain more yards. When they're in 1-on-1 situations, they need to beat their defenders more frequently. When their is contact, they need to fall forward for a few more yards. Each every one of them is valuable.
"For the backs, the biggest thing for the backs is they need to be aware of the situation," McAdoo said. "When there's one yard to go, they need to get that yard on third and one. When you get 1-on-1 with a safety, we expect our backs to beat that safety and take one the distance, and we haven't done that yet and it's a challenge on them to do that. We expect them to do it and we count on them to do it."
The article considers this a challenge, which means the team may be looking for someone to step up and claim a bigger role. Vereen's role seems pretty set as the third down back, but Jennings, Darkwa and Williams look like they are battling it out for more early down work. Until someone does step up, this is a fantasy situation to avoid outside of Vereen in PPR leagues.
The New York Giants will likely stick with a running back by committee for the remainder of the 2015 season. Running backs coach Craig Johnson confirmed as much on Monday.
“I think all of them have deserved to play,” Johnson said of his running backs, per Giants.com. “Rashad Jennings has done a lot of good things, Andre Williams probably had the best game of all the backs a week ago, Orleans has been consistent, so what I’m trying to do is give them all some opportunities and then the guys that really seem to be in a rhythm within each game, you try and give them a little bit more reps.”
Each back offers the Giants a different skill set for every down and distance. While Orleans Darkwa has arguably looked the most consistent between the tackles, he has not proved to be an asset in the passing game. If he can improve that aspect of his game, he is the best bet to emerge as a lead back over the final seven weeks.
The story didn't mention Shane Vereen who has excelled as the team's third down, pass catching RB. Even if Darkwa improves in his pass catching, he's not likely to replace Vereen in that role, but it could help Darkwa at least earn more time on the field ahead of Jennings and Williams. Other than Vereen in PPR leagues, it's probably a situation to avoid.
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