Brett Jones, Offensive Lineman
The second-year offensive lineman’s time may have come sooner than expected. With starting left guard Justin Pugh expected to miss time with an MCL sprain (suffered during a November 6 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles), it’ll be Jones who gets his number called.
Jones filled in well for Pugh once he went down midway through the game against the Eagles. Once he was inserted into the lineup, he went on to record an 82.2 Pro Football Focus (PFF) grade, the highest registered by any Giants offensive player in that game.
A natural center, the former CFL All-Star has needed time to adjust to the speed of the NFL. However, this season Jones seems to have found his stride. He began receiving first team reps during the preseason and has been the team’s top interior lineman off the bench all year.
“When you get in against the ones, the speed definitely picks up a little bit,” Jones told Michael Eisen of Giants.com. “They show some different things that maybe the twos and threes don’t do. It was cool to get to play against that and see those looks.”
In Pugh’s absence, Jones will play a crucial role in a New York offensive line that has generally failed to live up to expectations, namely in the running game. The Giants will need the sophomore player to develop quickly to hopefully help jump-start the team’s rushing attack, as well as keep quarterback Eli Manning upright.