Olivier Vernon
(Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images)

The New York Giants will be without top pass rusher Olivier Vernon against the Carolina Panthers in Week 5.

The New York Giants defense will once again be at less than full strength in Week 5.

The team announced via Twitter that star pass rusher Olivier Vernon will be relegated to watching the game once again. Vernon is the team’s best pass rusher and would have been a big help as the team tries to bottle up dual threat Cam Newton.

Evan Engram is also out and will miss his second straight game, an unsurprising announcement considering that his initial timetable was two to four weeks. However, the team was counting on Vernon’s return this week to stop Newton and the Panthers offense.

Pat Shurmur did say that he was optimistic that Vernon would return next week, but it should be noted that he was also optimistic about Vernon playing against the Panthers at the beginning of the week.

Vernon’s inability to get on the field thus far this season has made the team’s decision to trade Jason Pierre-Paul hurt. The Giants made the trade both to free up salary cap room for next season and because they felt that Vernon could provide enough pressure from the outside. Connor Barwin will continue to see pass rush snaps.

This is Vernon’s third season with the Giants. In his first two seasons, he played 28 of a possible 32 games and recorded 15 sacks, 35 quarterback hits, and three forced fumbles. He spent the first four seasons of his career with the Miami Dolphins.

For his career, he has 44 sacks and six forced fumbles in 92 games. His only double-digit sack season came in 2013 where he recorded 11.5 sacks. He’s started every game he’s played in since his rookie year, and the four games he missed last season where the first games he failed to appear in during his NFL career.

The Giants will have to go at least one more week without Vernon’s impact.

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