The New York Giants have ruled out both Rhett Ellison and Scott Simonson for their Week 17 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Injury Report: Rhett Ellison, Mike Remmers, and Scott Simonson (Concussions) ruled out for #PHIvsNYG
Corey Ballentine (Back), Sam Beal (Shoulder) and Alec Ogletree (Back) are questionable to play
— New York Giants (@Giants) December 27, 2019
Some fans may believe these injuries have been a blessing in disguise. Amid the setbacks, rookie tight end Kaden Smith has made a legitimate impact within the offense
That being said, the Giants have missed Ellison and Simonson tremendously. The two of them were the team’s blocking tight ends coming into the season. Without either, their running game has suffered.
There’s also the fact that Smith isn’t a much better receiver than Ellison. The rookie is only averaging 21.3 yards-per-game. Ellison, on the other hand, is averaging 16.7 and is putting up more yards-per-reception and yards-per-target.
Smith has distinguished himself in the red zone though. His three receiving touchdowns this year are more than Ellison and Simonson have combined for.
Nevertheless, the evidence clearly points to Ellison being the better tight end. The Giants would, without a doubt, have been better off if Ellison was healthy this season. The same will ring true on Sunday when the Giants play the Eagles. Philly is fourth in the NFL in run defense DVOA. Without a blocking tight end, it’s going to be hard for a shaky Giants offensive line to make room for Saquon Barkley.
The Eagles are also one of the surest tackling teams in the NFL. Having Ellison and his superior yards-after-catch skills would’ve been huge for the Giants. Ellison averages 4.6 yards-after-catch, while Smith averages just 3.3.
This Sunday’s game was already going to be a tough one for Big Blue. Now that they know they won’t have Ellison, it’ll only be that much more difficult.