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Giants linebacker Azeez Ojulari among those designated to return

Giants make injury designations to reach 80 players on roster
A general view of Giants training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
Photo Credit: Christian Arnold

Some help may be on the way for the Giants with the team designating guard Ben Bredeson, defensive back Tony Jefferson and linebacker Azeez Ojulari for return. New York made the on Monday afternoon as they prepared to get back to work for their upcoming showdown with the Washington Commanders on Sunday. 

The return of Ojulari could come as a big boost for the Giants’ defense which had planned to make him a big part of its scheme this season. He had been coming off a rookie season in which he led the team with eight sacks last year and there had been a lot of excitement to have him lineup on opposite ends of the field with rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux. 

Ojulari did play in Week 3 and Week 4, but injuries forced him onto the injured reserve. Now his return could finally give the Giants that terrifying combination that they had hoped for. 

“It’s definitely exciting. He’s a great player,” Thibodeaux said during a virtual press conference on Monday. “We have meetings, and we’re in practice every day together. So, having him back out there is definitely going to be a one-up for the D-line and for the pass rush – for the team. So, I’m excited to see him really let it loose.”

While the focus isn’t solely on sacks, Thibodeaux knows that Ojulari can add another dimension to that part of the Giants’ game.

“He’s a guy who can win on any given snap. So, that’s definitely going to continue to affect the quarterback and put pressure on him,” Thibodeaux said. 

The Giants are coming off back-to-back losses and have an incredibly important stretch of the season ahead of them. Two of their next three games will be against the hot Washington Commanders with a meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles smack dab in the middle of that. 

New York’s playoff hopes took a blow with the two losses, but the Giants still very much have a shot at the postseason. The Giants; outside linebacker said that the biggest thing to stopping their skid is to focus on what’s in front of them.

“Just to continue harping on the game plan, get everybody healthy and play for 60 minutes,” Thibodeaux said. :I feel like that’s the only place we kind of took hits. That last game we weren’t able to really finish it, play for all 60 minutes and hold up on the backend. So now that we have a new fresh week, we just got to make sure we stick to our fundamentals and play for 60 minutes.”

Nick Gates named Ed Block Courage Award winner

Nick Gates has had a harrowing journey back onto the football field after suffering a bad leg injury that left the Giants center wondering if his career was over. Now Gates is back on the field on and on Monday was named the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award. 

The award is given to “NFL players who exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage” and is voted on by their teammates. All 32 NFL clubs name a recipient each year. 

“It’s definitely meaningful even if it wasn’t voted on by teammates, but even more so that my teammates voted on it,” Gate said. “They saw me everyday last year putting in the hard work to get back to where I was and all the struggles and all the things I had to overcome. It felt pretty good to get my name called, especially with that two other guys that were in the group with me, with (wide receiver) Sterling (Shepard) and (quarterback) Daniel (Jones). I think that’s a good group to get picked out of and it’s an honor.”

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