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Despite Pugh’s Setback, Giants Still Confident in O-Line

Adam Gettis to start in place of Pugh.

Justin Pugh (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Justin Pugh (Al Bello/Getty Images)

 

Two weeks ago, offensive guard Justin Pugh suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee. The hope was for Pugh to be back within two to three weeks’ time. The Giants, as well as Pugh, had hopes of him returning to the starting lineup this week against the Cleveland Browns. However, Pugh suffered a slight setback this week during practice, as his knee began to feel sore.

“We’re very confident in the players that we have up that will be able to go out and play good offensive football,” said Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo.

Ever since Pugh was drafted as the Giant’s first round choice in the 2013 NFL Draft, he was set as one of the key cogs in the offensive line. With veterans such as David Diehl heading towards retirement, Pugh was primed to be one of the leaders of the offensive line. In his rookie season, Pugh started all 16 games and allowed only three sacks.

Last week against the Chicago Bears, the line held up on their end, protecting Eli Manning in the pocket, not allowing a single sack. Not only did it help Manning, but also Rashad Jennings.

Jennings would rush for 85 yards on 21 attempts for a touchdown, one of the best rushing performances for the Giants this season. This was a trial period for the Giants, as they shuffled as many combinations on the offensive line to get a feel for the new group.

“…it would be great to have the same five and get that continuity, communication, awareness that comes into play when you gave continuity, but the situation is what it is,” said Giants Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan. “It’s the hand we’re dealt and we’ll make the most of it.”

With Pugh awaiting results on a doctor’s visit next week, the Giants need a replacement to fill in for Pugh. Enter Adam Gettis. Gettis is a four year veteran, but is slated to make his first career start for the Giants, and also his first career start at left guard since college. Gettis has spent time on practice squads on the Giants and Raiders, but was cut a total of five times. However, the Giants signed Gettis this past September and was promoted to the active roster this Friday after news of Pugh’s setback.

Gettis is battling a calf injury of his own, but is slated to play through the pain and help anchor down the line at the left guard position.

“He’s been around the offensive system,” said McAdoo. “We brought him here and he’s been in and out and he’s done a nice job for us. He can snap the ball, so he can play center, he can play both guards, play a little tight end if we need him to.”

“In the past couple of weeks, when he’s had his opportunities, he has a finish mentality,” said Sullivan. “…He has good versatility, in terms of being able to snap the ball if necessary, or play on the inside. Confident that if he’s given his opportunities.”

With Pugh’s status up in the air, the Giants will be leaning on the backups on the offensive line to hold their own. If last week against the Bears was an indicator, the Giants should be able to manage.

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