EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The short week is not the players’ friend.
New York Giants right tackle D.J. Fluker is expected to miss Thursday’s game against the Washington Redskins with a toe injury, a source told ESPN. The news was first reported by New Jersey Advance Media.
There is no timetable for his return. It's considered a “week-to-week" injury.
Fluker’s absence leaves the Giants even further shorthanded on the offensive line. Right tackle Justin Pugh (back) also is unlikely to play and starting center Weston Richburg (concussion) recently was placed on injured reserve.
Other key injuries to monitor include wide receiver Sterling Shepard (illness) and defensive end Olivier Vernon (shoulder). Shepard would have been a limited participant had the Giants practiced on Monday; Vernon would not have participated.
Coach Ben McAdoo did specify that Shepard was not in the concussion protocol despite missing Sunday’s win over the Kansas City Chiefs with migraines.
Fluker wouldn’t have practiced either as the Giants held a walk-through on Monday.
“If we were to practice [Monday], he would not have practiced,” McAdoo said. “It was more of a walk-through type day [Monday]. But he did not go, would not have been able to go. If we had to play today, he would not have played.”
Fluker has been a major asset in the run game since being inserted into the starting lineup. The Giants have averaged 106.2 yards per game on the ground (18th in the NFL) since he became a full-time starter at right guard in Week 6. They were 30th in the NFL averaging 77.8 yards over the first five weeks of the season.
The Giants signed Fluker to a one-year, $3 million deal this offseason. They were hesitant to put him into the starting lineup, and didn’t make the move until multiple injuries forced their hand.
Fluker has rewarded them with a strong presence on the line. His ability to create push has provided a spark. The Giants have enjoyed significantly more success running to the right this season.
But they won’t have Fluker on Thursday against Washington’s 20th-ranked run defense. He may not be the only lineman missing.
Both teams have their share of injury concerns coming into the contest. The Redskins had 19 players (seven offensive linemen) who were judged to miss or be limited if Washington had held practice. The Giants had 11 total players on the list.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s a short week, so it’s tough to recover,” McAdoo said. “That’s the biggest challenge going from a Sunday overtime game to a Thursday night game. We have a lot of guys who are banged up. They’re going to have to fight through some things and possibly Calvin [Munson] and OV [Vernon]. It is a concern.”
Giants injury report
(* practice participation estimated)
Did not practice
G D.J. Fluker (toe)
LB B.J. Goodson (ankle)
DT Damon Harrison (ankle)
LB Calvin Munson (quad)
OL Justin Pugh (back)
DE Olivier Vernon (shoulder)
Limited participation in practice
RB Orleans Darkwa (hamstring)
DE Jason Pierre-Paul (knee)
WR Sterling Shepard (illness)
LB Kelvin Sheppard (groin)
DT Dalvin Tomlinson (ankle)