Another day, another chance to tinker with the Giants offensive line.
Left tackle Andrew Thomas was mostly a non-participant during the open portion of Thursday’s practice as the Giants went through a walk-through with Nate Solder on the left side and Matt Peart on the right side.
Thomas, a first-round pick in 2020, struggled in joint practices with the Patriots and then for the world to see Sunday, allowing two sacks and another pressure in his matchups with Pro Bowler Matt Judon and relative unknown Josh Uche.
“We win some, we lose some,” offensive line coach Rob Sale said. “He had a good last couple week in practice 1-on-1 pass protection. He was short on the edge a few times and he’ll tell you that. It was his first live-action full-speed in front of him. He’ll battle back and respond the right way.”
Coming off of offseason ankle surgery, Thomas wasn’t given many rest days during training camp, and coach Joe Judge subscribes to the “load management” theory of practice.
The Giants also added Matt Skura – a career 51-game starter for the Ravens — to their practice squad, as first reported by ESPN. Skura was recently cut by the Dolphins, a staff with many direct ties to the Giants’ coaches.
So, the Giants have added three veterans in the last four days, including experienced centers Skura and Billy Price, neither of whom was at Thursday’s practice. Price is going through the COVID-19 five-day entry protocol while fellow newcomer Ben Bredeson practiced for the second straight day.
The additions have allowed the Giants to utilize the versatility of Nick Gates in practice. Perhaps the Giants’ most proven commodity on the line despite having only learned center just last year, Gates is a more experienced guard.
“Whoever is in the room — doesn’t matter if it’s Andrew Thomas or whoever — is going to get coached hard and loved harder,” Sale said. “The best five will be out there ready to play.”
It’s more movement than is ideal with only four more practices before facing the Broncos in the season opener.