New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur confirms that linebacker Olivier Vernon will practice this week, despite his ankle injury.
Vernon suffered an injury in the preseason that was later discovered to be a high-ankle sprain. This led to the standout defensive player missing Big Blue’s regular season opener against the Jaguars on Sunday.
“We’ll see how much he can do,” said Shurmur to Francesa. The Giants need to take this step by step with Vernon. They want him to be as healthy as possible, but they also need him back to help solidify the pass rush. Formerly a defensive end, Vernon is still looking to prove he can be a prominent aspect at outside linebacker in defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s new 3-4 scheme.
Although only the second game of the regular season, Sunday’s game against the Cowboys could determine the type of season the Giants may end up having. Two consecutive losses to start the season is not how Shurmur and his staff want their tenure to begin.
If Vernon does end up missing Week 2, the Giants will need to look to other players to fill the void once again. These include linebackers Connor Barwin, Kareem Martin, as well as 2018 third round draft pick out of Georgia, linebacker Lorenzo Carter. Although all three have talent and potential, Shurmur and the Giants are hoping it won’t get to that point.
The decision on Vernon’s status for Sunday will be made later this week. The Giants kick off their Week 2 game this Sunday night in Dallas, approximately 8:20 p.m. EST.