Could New York Giants safety Jabrill Peppers play more than just defense this year? According to Joe Judge, there’s a possibility.
After missing five games last year — his first with the team — due to a transverse process fracture, Jabrill Peppers is back and ready for the 2020 campaign. The New York Giants are seemingly excited for his return considering the versatility and athleticism he brings from the strong safety spot.
But what’s so intriguing about Peppers’ game is his ability to succeed even beyond the defensive side of the ball, a talent he proved during his time at the University of Michigan. The Giants and rookie head coach Joe Judge understand this concept, and may put that knowledge to beneficial use in 2020.
“I wouldn’t limit anything we might do with Jabrill, to be honest with you,” the head honcho of the coaching staff said Thursday, per Art Stapleton of The Record.
Peppers did run the ball in college to some success, garnering 239 yards on 45 carries for five touchdowns across a pair of seasons. Nonetheless, it’s not like the Giants would utilize him too much in that area of the game due to his injury history and overall value to the defense.
But special teams, you ask?
There’s a chance the Giants could use Peppers on the punt cover team in order to have an extra athletic body sprint down the field and make a play. Coordinator Thomas McGaughey may actually include starters on special teams, so it’s not an improbable scenario.
Think the Giants are going to use starters on special teams? Coordinator Thomas McGaughey just brought up Lawrence Taylor used to play on special teams.
Starting safety Jabrill Peppers is a ST captain this season for the Giants.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) September 10, 2020
The return game is also a possibility, but McGaughey didn’t utilize Jabrill too much in those regards in 2019. Peppers only notched four punt returns and a single kickoff return, racking up 72 total yards.
If the Giants do intend to introduce Peppers into as many roles as possible, the different ways he contributes to this team will be an interesting tidbit moving forward. Yet, the injury from last year may cause the organization to suppress the implementation of that idea.