EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants will have a different look when they take the field Sunday against the Washington Redskins. It’s necessary with defensive tackle Damon Harrison and cornerback Eli Apple having been traded this week.
Casual fans should get ready to hear some names of players they might not even realize are on the team. Grant Haley? Sean Chandler? Tae Davis? Exactly. These are some of the likely beneficiaries of the Giants reshuffling their roster and looking toward the future.
“For the guys that play those positions, it gives them the opportunity to get more reps and show us what they can do,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “So I’m looking forward to seeing what our guys can do.”
Here are some players who should see increased playing time given the Giants’ midseason shift:
NT Dalvin Tomlinson -- Both Shurmur and defensive coordinator James Bettcher said they believe Tomlinson is more of a natural nose tackle than defensive end. The trade of Harrison allows him to move into the middle of the defense. Tomlinson was already playing 58 percent of the Giants’ defensive snaps this season. He didn’t have a sack or quarterback hit from the defensive end position. This new role could suit him better.
DL Kerry Wynn/Josh Mauro/Mario Edwards -- They were all playing behind Tomlinson and rookie B.J. Hill prior to the trade. Now they will be playing even more. Perhaps nobody on the Giants deserves it more than Wynn, who has 19 tackles, is second on the team with 1.5 sacks, and has three tackles for a loss and a pair of quarterback hits. He’s played extremely well despite being on the field for just 43 percent of the defensive snaps. That should rise.
QB Kyle Lauletta -- If the Giants continue to trend in this direction, it’s only logical to wonder when they will take a look at Lauletta. He’s been running the scout team and hasn’t been active yet this year. The fourth-round pick still should find his way into the lineup at some point in the second half of the season to give the Giants a more accurate evaluation of what they have. Shurmur said he thinks Manning will be their quarterback following the trade deadline Tuesday and bye next week. But that could change if the Giants' offense struggles badly again Sunday against the Redskins and an already uneasy locker room favors a quarterback change. It’s possible. Shurmur might have to do it to keep things from boiling over down the stretch.
WR Corey Coleman -- He’s going to get a chance with this banged-up receiving corps. He’ll start this week by playing on special teams. Coleman admitted there is a chip on his shoulder. The first-round pick of the Browns has bounced around since being released by Cleveland in a much-publicized move this summer. He has talent. He also may have opportunity.
CB Grant Haley -- He was elevated from the practice squad last week. He made his first career appearance in Atlanta. Haley should be the biggest beneficiary of the Apple trade. He’s going to be the Giants’ primary nickel cornerback with B.W. Webb sliding inside into Apple’s position. Haley is an undrafted rookie free agent out of Penn State who has made a strong impression on the Giants coaching staff. He got in three snaps against the Falcons. He’ll get much more Sunday against the Redskins and the remainder of the season if he holds his own.
DB Sean Chandler -- The Giants also said Chandler will enter the nickel cornerback rotation. The undrafted rookie safety surprisingly made the final roster this summer. “We’ve been impressed with him since he got here,” Shurmur said. Chandler hasn’t played much (one snap) on defense this season. That turned into a big gain by Houston's DeAndre Hopkins. But Chandler is going to get a chance in the second half of the season because the Giants like his competitiveness and instincts.
KR Quadree Henderson -- The undrafted rookie free agent was elevated from the practice squad last week. He impressed special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey enough that he’s going to get another chance against the Redskins in hopes of ending the merry-go-round at the position. “He did a good job,” McGaughey said. “He did what he does. He did the same thing in college and played with a lot of confidence.”
LB Tae Davis -- This is another undrafted rookie (from Tennessee-Chattanooga) who entered the defensive mix last week. The Giants started to rotate Davis in at middle linebacker against the Falcons. He should get even more playing time against the Redskins with starter Alec Ogletree dealing with a hamstring injury. If Davis plays well, it could lead to more playing time in the second half of the season.