NFL Week 6: What to watch for as shorthanded Giants host Rams

Kadarius Toney giants
Giants rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are still licking their wounds from a disastrous trip down to Dallas in Week 5 that ended with a 44-20 blowout loss to a Cowboys team that is looking like one of the best sides in the NFC right now.

Now sitting at 1-4, the Giants are bound to be shorthanded as they welcome in another strong NFC opponent in the 4-1 Los Angeles Rams, who rebounded well from a loss to the Arizona Cardinals by taking down the Seattle Seahawks last Thursday night.

As expected, the Giants are heavy underdogs to the Rams despite being at home. Here is what you need to look out for this Sunday afternoon (1 p.m. ET, FOX).

Who’s in? Who’s out?

The Giants were ravaged by injuries during their loss to the Cowboys, which will impact the team they field on Sunday against Los Angeles.

Running back Saquon Barkley will not play Sunday after suffering a severe ankle sprain after he stepped on the foot of an undercutting Cowboys cornerback, Jourdan Lewis. The injury frustration continues for the dynamic rusher, who missed 14 games last year due to a torn ACL and three games the year prior because of a high-ankle sprain.

Moments after the Giants lost Barkley, quarterback Daniel Jones left the game after a helmet-to-helmet collision at the goal line concussed him — to the point where he had difficulty standing up.

Giants head coach Joe Judge on Wednesday said that Jones is still in concussion protocol, but is “on track” to possibly play Sunday. He did light side work on Wednesday rather than practice with the team.

If Jones is unable to go, veteran backup Mike Glennon will step in under center as he did for the second half in Dallas. The 31-year-old completed 16-of-25 passes for 196 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.

Wide receiver Kenny Golladay did not practice on Wednesday either after suffering a knee injury in that same Cowboys game. His status is questionable heading into Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Giants got some better news regarding Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton — both of whom missed Week 5 due to injuries. Shepard confirmed that he would play against the Rams while Slayton is expected to suit up as well. 


Toney Time

With their top receivers out in Dallas, rookie Kadarius Toney showed why he was worth the 20th overall pick at the 2021 NFL Draft.

The playmaker out of Florida singlehandedly carried the Giants’ offense in their loss, catching 10 passes for a franchise rookie record 189 yards — though things ended on a sour note when he was ejected in the fourth quarter for trying to punch an opponent.

“He’s electric with the ball,” Shepard said of Toney. “He’s twitchy man, I was calling him a jitterbug.”

But even the rookie is dealing with an ankle injury, but it doesn’t appear to be all that serious after he practiced on Wednesday.

If he plays, expect to see more of a continued effort to keep him involved in the Giants’ offense.


Secondary Test

The Giants’ pass defense isn’t going to get much of a reprieve when they face the Rams. 

Matthew Stafford, experiencing a career resurgence of sorts, is leading the second-best passing offense in the entire NFL as he’s passed for 1,587 yards with 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

Patrick Graham’s defense let Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott basically do whatever he wanted in Week 5, carving the Giants open for 302 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Stafford hasn’t thrown for less than 278 yards this year in a single game, meaning a Giants pass defense that ranks 22nd in the NFL is going to be in for a long afternoon.

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