With a big game upcoming against the surprising NFC North-leading Detroit Lions, the New York Giants will have a big man back in their corner Sunday.
As the New York Giants enter the final three games of their 2016 season, they have received an early Christmas gift. Justin Pugh will officially be back in action this Sunday against the Detroit Lions, as he wasn’t even listed on the team’s official injury report after missing the last five games.
With the offense struggling the last few weeks, Pugh returning to the lineup can arguably be more important than Jason Pierre-Paul missing this game. Especially in the passing game, Pugh will be a welcomed backed with open arms but not only Eli Manning, but his fellow lineman in the trenches.
According to Pro Football Focus, Justin Pugh hadn’t allowed a single sack this season before going down in Week 9 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Pro Football Focus even named him as the best left guard in the entire NFL through the first nine weeks of the season.
On top of being an exceptional pass protector, Pugh has proven to be one of the better run blockers on the team. The Giants ground attack, which ranks 30th in the NFL, received a boost last week with the return of Shane Vereen. That boost was short-lived, however, as Vereen left last Sunday’s victory against the Dallas Cowboys with a concussion. Although Vereen is being labeled as questionable this week, if he plays and the return of Justin Pugh could really open up the entire offense.
NYG Injury Report: (DNP) DE JPP, LB Robinson (Limited) Safety Berhe, LS DeOssie, DT Hankins, LB Herzlich, DE Odighizuwa, OG Pugh, RB Vereen
— New York Giants (@Giants) December 15, 2016
A win this week against the Detroit Lions will go a long way towards the Giants securing a playoff spot. Pugh, and possibly Vereen, will be a huge boost towards achieving that goal.