CANTON, Ohio -- Nothing takes longer than an NFL game to start, so as we sit here in the press box awaiting the Hall of Fame Game between the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night, I thought I'd throw a couple of notes at you.
Earlier Sunday, Giants running back David Wilson tweeted this:
Which is interesting because, as you likely know, Wilson has an appointment Monday with the surgeon who performed his spinal fusion surgery in January. Wilson had to leave Giants practice last week with a burner, which caused significant concern in the Giants' hierarchy because it was another problem in the neck area that surfaced a week after Wilson was finally cleared for full practice following the procedure. Wilson was examined in New York last week by doctors, and there was significant pessimism around the team about his chances to ever play for them again. The Giants will be extremely cautious with Wilson because the neck is a sensitive and dangerous area and further traumatic injury there could have severe negative consequences on Wilson's life, not just his career.
Wilson, however, is a supremely optimistic person who was telling people last week that he would be fine after a couple of days off. So clearly, he's expecting to get good news from his surgeon. The issue is that, even if he does, the Giants could decide the risk of putting him into game action is too great. And if that happens, they're likely to pursue some sort of injury settlement with him and allow him to seek to continue his career elsewhere if he's able. So stayed tuned for news on that Monday morning.
As for this game here Sunday night, this is a list of Giants who did not make the trip and will not participate:
DE Robert Ayers
LB Jon Beason
OT Will Beatty
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Guard Eric Herman
WR/KR Trindon Holliday
RB David Wilson
Expect to see a lot of Damontre Moore at defensive end, as the Giants want to see how much progress he's made since a year ago. Expect to see Jameel McClain start at middle linebacker in Beason's place, and rookie Devon Kennard to start at strongside linebacker and possibly replace McClain in the middle once the starters are done.
Patterson's absence is a chance for second-year defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins to try to start taking that starting job away from him. Beckham's absence likely means a lot of Jerrel Jernigan, but it's also a chance to see guys like Preston Parker, Corey Washington and Marcus Harris, any of whom could be in the mix to make the roster at wide receiver by the time it's all said and done. Mario Manningham is here, but he's been so gimpy in practice it seems unlikely he'll play in a game like this.
Eli Manning should start the game at quarterback and play either one or two series, but if you're watching all night you're going to get a long look at backup quarterback Ryan Nassib and then Curtis Painter. The Giants are hoping Nassib shows enough to claim the No. 2 quarterback job outright, and Sunday night is his chance to begin showing it in game conditions.