New York Giants’ wide receivers Roger Lewis Jr., Tavarres King and Travis Rudolph all have a chance to showcase themselves for the team’s future.
The New York Giants season has gone up in flames, much like their depth at wide receiver. With Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris out for the year, as well as Sterling Shepard suffering an ankle injury, the Giants are decimated on the outside. And now their hungry, young receivers get the chance to showcase themselves for the team’s future.
Monday morning, the Giants wasted no time in finding replacements for their injury-plagued receiving corps. Bringing back Tavarres King and signing Travis Rudolph off their practice squad, the Giants quickly added some depth on the outside. King and Rudolph join Roger Lewis Jr., at the moment, as the Giants starting receivers.
While neither one of them is likely on a path to stardom, they have all shown some intrigue in the past and ultimately have the golden opportunity to continue doing so for the remainder of the year.
Out of the trio, Lewis has the most experience in Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo’s West Coast offense. Though he hasn’t played at a high level, Lewis reeled in six receptions Week one in Dallas and caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Manning in the second half of the Giants’ Sunday afternoon affair with the Los Angeles Chargers. Five games in, Lewis has already recorded more receiving yards than he did in his rookie season (2016). Now, being arguably the best receiver on the depth chart, Lewis has the chance to prove his worth to the Giants in a more significant role.
In addition to Lewis, King has also seen some regular season reps.
Last year, King was involved in two key plays and games for the Giants. Reeling in a 44-yard pass down the sideline in their Week 17 matchup with the Washington Redskins, King helped facilitate a game-winning drive. One week later, he made yet another crucial play.
Despite losing 38-13 in Lambeau Field, King was the lone Giant to reach the end zone. On the receiving end of a 41-yard touchdown pass, and totaling 73 yards on the day, King was the Giants’ most productive product on the offensive end. Now back in the fold, King has the chance to potentially work off that brief success in 2016; being utilized as a number two or three option can allow someone to break out and/or get more offensive attention.
Rudolph, on the other hand, has never appeared in a regular season game.
Going undrafted out of Florida State University, the Giants brought Rudolph in for the preseason, but he was unable to crack the 53-man roster, despite playing well.
In the team’s four preseason games, Rudolph totaled nine receptions for 157 yards. His standout performance came in the MetLife Bowl. Reeling in three receptions, as well as one that went for 57 yards, Rudolph made the most of the Giants’ annual preseason matchup with the New York Jets; the ensuing week, he totaled three receptions for 46 yards in Foxboro versus the New England Patriots.
Whether demoting him to their practice squad was the right move or not, Rudolph now has the chance to show the Giants he’s worthy of a roster spot going forward. Preseason play can be taken for what it’s worth, but Rudolph was an intriguing player for the Giants during that stretch. He now gets to prove his play wasn’t a fluke.
Lewis, King and Rudolph, as well as whoever else the Giants may bring in, have the chance to run free and show what they can do. Being four receivers down and relying on youngsters was not the ideal scenario, but this’s the hand the Giants have been dealt; they have to make the most of it.