November 28, 2022

Giants hold breath after losing Neal, Bredeson, Bellinger to injuries

The rookie tight end will see an eye specialist tomorrow. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)

The Giants lost starting left guard Ben Bredeson and starting right tackle Evan Neal to potentially serious knee injuries in a span of seven minutes in Sunday’s first half.

Head coach Brian Daboll had no update on the severity of either player’s injury.

“I won’t know until tomorrow,” he said.

Bredeson went down at 5:13 of the second quarter after getting hurt on the preceding play. Then Neal got rolled up on by Jags DL Roy Robertson-Harris and Saquon Barkley with around 13:20 left in the 2nd quarter.

The Giants ruled out both players quickly, even though they both limped off under their own power. Neal screamed out in frustration as he entered the blue tent on the sideline for a quick check-up. Then he hopped on the cart and rode into the locker room.

Rookie Josh Ezeudu replaced Bredeson at left guard, and third-year pro Tyre Phillips stepped in for Neal. The Giants still managed 175 of their 236 rushing yards in the second half.

Barkley had a lot of success running the same exact play concept off the right side behind Ezeudu pulling. The Giants ran it on consecutive plays at one point for 7 and 20 yards, respectively.

“Can’t stop it, why not?” Barkley said. “I can tell when you lean on a defense, you can feel them starting to soften up, and [you can] take them to the deep water and drown them.”

BELLINGER SEEING EYE DOCTOR

Rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger (left eye) traveled home with the team and is scheduled to see an ophthalmologist on Monday. His left eye was black and blue and swollen shut in the postgame locker room. He held ice up to his face as he walked out.

Bellinger was poked in the eye by Jags CB Tre Herndon at the end of a 13-yard catch and was carted off the field with a minute left in the first half. He was taken to an area hospital for further evaluation but returned to the stadium.

Daniel Jones and others were consoling him in the locker room, offering support.

ODDS AND ENDS

Dexter Lawrence was whistled for two roughing the passer penalties on his former Clemson teammate, Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence. He said: “You know, it’s a quarterback league. It sucks that that happens. When you have all that momentum, you don’t want to pull off and then miss it. You just have to keep playing your game and if they call it, they call it. If they don’t, they don’t.” Of his trash talk with Lawrence, the Giants’ DT said: “We were just talking s—. Good s—. It was cool to play against him. He played well.” … Kayvon Thibodeaux did snow angels on the grass after the clock hit zeroes and the Giants won. Why? “I was tired! S—. You see how many plays that was? I’m still tired right now.” Thibodeaux impressively chased down Jags RB Travis Etienne at the end of a 49-yard run in the third quarter and showed great motor all day, with a late QB hit on the Jaguars’ Lawrence … OLB Quincy Roche made a key stop on Etienne on the third down before the defense’s big fourth-down stop in the fourth quarter. That came on Roche’s first defensive snap. “I’m always ready,” Roche said with a smile. “You stay ready, you don’t gotta get ready.” … Nick McCloud blocked a Jaguars extra point in the third quarter, offsetting a first-half two-point conversion by Etienne … Darius Slayton caught a 32-yard TD catch up the right side of the end zone from Jones on the game’s opening drive. That snapped the Giants’ NFL worst 14-game drought without an opening drive TD going back to last year. … LB Austin Calitro was the Giants’ healthy scratch Sunday. The other inactives were all due to injury: WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring), WR Kenny Golladay (knee), OLB Oshane Ximines (quad), S Jason Pinnock (ankle) and CB Cor’Dale Flott (calf).