sterling shepard giants
Syndication: The Record

The Giants will be without two of their top receivers when they face the New Orleans Saints this Sunday afternoon.

What we all basically expected was finally announced Friday.

ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reports wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton will be sidelined during the Giants‘ Week 4 matchup with New Orleans this Sunday. Both are dealing with hamstring injuries.

Left guard Ben Bredeson, who started the Week 3 loss to Atlanta, will also be out with a hand injury.

Replacing Shepard/Slayton

This isn’t ideal for a Giants offense that’s already dealt with its fair share of issues (and criticism) this year. It’s also not ideal for Daniel Jones, a developing quarterback that’s played better than expected.

But the Giants must hope these aren’t long-term injuries and move forward, and the reinforcements are expected to be first-rounder Kadarius Toney as well as Collin Johnson.

The Giants need to increase Toney’s role in the offense and this could be a perfect opportunity to do so. The rookie has earned more and more playing time each week but has been targeted just five times through three games.

Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett must provide Toney with the chance to make plays in space given Kadarius’ speed and elusiveness. Expect that to possibly occur this Sunday.

Johnson may also see an enhanced role after he caught five balls for 51 yards against the Falcons. The primary reserve wideout became an integral part of the passing attack after Shepard and Slayton exited.

Replacing Bredeson

The Giants will now be starting their fourth different left guard in as many games. Shane Lemieux started Week 1 but hasn’t played since and could very well be out for the year due to recent knee surgery. Primary starting center Nick Gates replaced Lemieux and started at left guard in Week 2 but suffered a season-ending lower leg fracture.

Bredeson then started Week 3 but is now dealing with the aforementioned hand injury. Regardless if he needs to miss multiple games, he won’t suit up for Big Blue this Sunday and either Wes Martin or Matt Skura could replace him.

The Giants signed Martin off of Washington’s practice squad earlier this week. Skura is additionally on the active roster after previously being on the Giants practice squad — he was elevated for the Week 2 loss to the Football Team.

Other injury-related news

Also per Raanan, inside linebacker Tae Crowder is questionable with a hamstring injury while Kenny Golladay (hip) doesn’t have an injury designation.

Crowder should be able to play, and if he does, will need to assume a large role in the absence of Blake Martinez. Blake tore his ACL last Sunday and is done for the year.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.