The Giants could be without two of their top receivers and one of their better defensive assets when they face Dallas this Sunday.
Bad news for the Giants just a few days prior to their Week 5 matchup with the Cowboys.
ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reports wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton as well as safety Jabrill Peppers were working on the side of Friday’s practice — they’re “probably not” going to be healthy enough to take the field on Sunday.
Each player is dealing with a hamstring injury.
This would be the second straight missed game for both Shepard and Slayton. Peppers, on the other hand, hasn’t missed a game since last year’s Week 4 loss to the Rams.
WRs Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton still working on the side. Probably not going to be ready for Cowboys after hamstring injuries two weeks ago.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) October 8, 2021
The Giants didn’t have Shepard and Slayton for their most recent victory over the Saints, and as a team, Big Blue gained 485 total yards. Quarterback Daniel Jones also threw for a career-high 402 yards and two touchdowns.
Now, this isn’t to say the aforementioned injured wideouts hinder the progression of New York’s offense when they’re on the field. It’s moreso saying the alternative options are capable of providing reliable assistance for Jones.
If Shepard and Slayton are indeed out, expect to see a great deal of Kenny Golladay, rookie Kadarius Toney, and John Ross in the passing game this weekend. Golladay caught six balls for 116 yards in the win over the Saints while Toney caught six balls for 78 yards. Ross reeled in three receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown in his first game as a Giant.
Tight end Evan Engram and running back Saquon Barkley would also be in the mix when it comes to the air attack.
Not being able to field Peppers means the Giants would likely be getting a whole lot out of Xavier McKinney and Julian Love.
Either young safety would need to step up alongside Logan Ryan, James Bradberry, and the rest of this Giants secondary.
Expect Patrick Graham to potentially utilize McKinney and/or Love in pass coverage as well as in the box as more of a pass rusher. New York will need to pressure Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott a significant amount — providing the elite signal-caller with time to operate will spell doom for this Big Blue defense.
Peppers’ shoes are large — is McKinney and/or Love possibly capable of filling them for this important NFC East showdown?
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY