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Five Players on Notice Entering New York Giants Preseason Games

The following players, who thus far have had an unremarkable training camp, need to start showing something if they want to stick around on the Giants' roster.

The New York Giants competition for roster spots has long been underway, but on Thursday, things will be cranked up a few more notches when the team opens its three-game preseason schedule against the New England Patriots up in Foxborough.

Throughout training camp, there have been some heated competitions in different position groups, notably at receiver, inside linebacker, and cornerback. Several young players have made positive impressions in their quest for a spot on the 53-man roster. If they continue along those lines, some veterans could be left on the outside looking in.

Here is our look at five veterans who need to show something in preseason games to avoid a visit from The Turk.

Quincy Roche | OLB

A year ago, the Giants barely had any pass rushers, their two most consistent threats being Azeez Ojulari, a second-round draft pick, Lorenzo Carter, and Quincy Roche, who combined for 15.5 of the team’s 34 sacks last year.

Ojulari is currently on the NFI list with a hamstring strain but should be back before the end of the month. Carter is in Atlanta, and Roche, whom the Giants picked up off waivers, has fallen down the depth chart.

This is largely due to the additions of first-round pick Kayvon Thibodeaux and veteran free agent Jihad Ward. And let's not forget the emergence of Elerson Smith, last year’s fourth-round pick who lost most of his rookie season due to injuries, and Oshane Ximines, who was all but forgotten by the previous coaching staff but who has since received new life under this staff.

Roche is a decent situational pass rusher, but he’s had a quiet camp thus far compared to his competition. If Roche doesn't start outplaying his competition, he could find himself looking in on the outside.

Gary Brightwell | RB

Last year's sixth-round pick, Brightwell didn't get much opportunity with the offense as a rookie, as he was recruited more for his special teams ability. That trend has continued under the new coaching staff as Brightwell hasn't had many reps this summer with the first or second-team offense. Those reps, when not going to Saquon Barkley or Matt Breida, have instead gone to Antonio Williams and undrafted rookie free agent Jashaun Corbin.

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Dallas Cowboys defensive end Dorance Armstrong (92) blocks a field goal attempt by New York Giants place kicker Graham Gano (9) in the first half at MetLife Stadium on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.

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Aug 11, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots safety Jalen Elliott (36) tackles New York Giants running back Antonio Williams (21) during the second half of a preseason game at Gillette Stadium.

Giants Waive Running Back Antonio Williams

The Giants make room for some potential reinforcements at other positions.

Breida will not play in the game due to an undisclosed injury, and it would be surprising if Barkley plays more than a series. That means there should be more opportunities for Brightwell to show he can be much more than just a special teams player.

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Michael Jacquet III

One of the big question marks heading into training camp was what the Giants would do for depth at cornerback after cutting James Bradberry loose due to salary cap reasons. New York appears set with projected starters Adoree’ Jackson and Aaron Robinson on the outside and Darnay Holmes and Cor’Dale Flott for the slot.

Beyond that, it sure looks like undrafted free agents Darren Evans and Zyon Gilbert have been making more plays. Evans, in particular, seems to come up with at least one notable play per practice, his most recent one being a pass breakup in which Evans showed good closing speed t knock the ball away.

Darius Slayton | WR

It’s not a good sign when a player goes from being a part of the first-team offense down to the third-string offense. Yet that is the situation with Slayton, the team’s receiving touchdown leader in 2019, whose stock has fallen faster than a lead balloon since.

With Richie James, Collin Johnson, and C.J. Board making strong pushes for a roster spot –all three contribute on special teams whereas Slayton does not—things look bleak for the 2019 fifth-round draft pick’s chances of making the roster.

Jamie Gillan | P

The Giants swapped out punter Riley Dixon for Jamie Gillan and didn’t bother to bring in competition for the position. Maybe that was due to the salary cap crunch, or maybe they figured they could always pick up another punter.

Whatever it was, Gillian has been the picture of inconsistency this summer, so much so that special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey told reporters this week that he would like to see Gillan’s hangtime-distance ratio improve.

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