New York Giants Week 1 Injury Impact

Jackson Thompson

The Giants and Steelers released their first injury report of the 2020 season on Thursday.

Here's a look at the players to be concerned about ahead of the Giants and Steelers' Week-1 Monday Night Football matchup, and how it could affect their respective gameplans.

Giants edge rusher Markus Golden was the only member of the team to not practice Thursday, according to the team's first official injury report of 2020.

Listed with an illness, the team's 2019 sack leader isn't believed to be in danger of missing Monday's regular-season opener against the Steelers.

Last year, Golden started all 16 games for the Giants, proving he was completely over a torn ACL he suffered in 2017 after just four games. His team-leading 10.0 sacks represented the second-highest total of his career.

Although he returned to the Giants this year after not having luck in the free-agent market, it remains to be seen if Golden will continue to be a starter or become more of a situational player with a different role in Patrick Graham's defense.

The Giants listed four players--defensive back Adrien Colbert (illness), receiver Golden Tate (hamstring), linebacker Tae Crowder (hamstring), and tight end Levine Toilolo (hamstring)-- as limited participants.

Tate and Toilolo are the two injuries to keep a close eye on. Tate is projected to be one of the Giants' starting wide receivers in Week 1. He missed the final week of training camp and has been mostly limited to doing individual drills during the part of practice open to the media.

Last year Tate missed the regular-season opener when he served a four-game league-imposed suspension. It was a sign of things to come for the Giants skill position group of Tate, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Saquon Barkley, and Evan Engram, as they could never get on the field at the same time for the offense.

Tate led the Giants receivers last year in yards after the catch and was second in first down conversions. Losing him would be a considerable blow for the Giants offense if they plan to attack the Steelers defense by using underneath routes.

Toilolo's injury is also worth keeping an eye on. Signed to be the team's blocking tight end, the Giants are facing a very, very stout Steelers defense that last year led the league in sacks.

With two new starters, including a rookie, projected at tackle on the offensive line, having Toilolo to handle the blocking duties is thought to be a big part of the game plan to slow down the Steelers' pass rush.

For the Steelers, Pro Bowl guard David DeCastro (knee) and receiver Diontae Johnson (foot) did not practice.

DeCastro, who hasn't practiced in about three weeks, is not expected to play on Monday night, leaving the Steelers offensive line without one of its key veterans. In place of Castro, veteran journeyman Stefan Wisniewski will get the nod at right guard. 

DeCastro's anticipated absence means the Steelers will also be starting the season with as many as three new starters on the offensive line, including Zach Banner at right tackle

A lower-body injury for a receiver is never good news; for Johnson, one of the budding young receiving starts in the league, it could be the difference between what makes him so unique.

Johnson, per Behind the Steel Curtain, had the second-best year among all NFL wide receivers between 2017-2019 at creating separation from coverage on short passes.

If Johnson can't play--and there is no indication that will be the case at this time--the Steelers still have third-year wide receiver James Washington and Juju Smith-Schuster to test the Giants' revamped defensive secondary. 

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