Injured absentees mean the New York Giants will travel to face the dead and buried Cleveland Browns on Sunday with only two healthy offensive lineman as backup.
Ben McAdoo’s Giants are on the hunt for their sixth win in a row as they look to extend their current 7-3 record and maintain their advantage over the Washington Redskins in the NFC East.
The Browns enter the matchup on the back of a 24-9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game that saw quarterback Cody Kessler suffer a concussion that has consequently ruled him out of this weekend’s contest.
Cleveland are now mathematically ruled out of playoff contention and remain in search of their first win this season.
The Giants will travel to play away from the MetLife stadium for the first time since October 23 when they beat the LA Rams 17-10 in London.
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will be hoping to see his unit build on a recent record of eight interceptions and 14 sacks in their last five games.
They face a Browns offense that sits way down in 29th in total yards per game while the stuttering Giants rushing game has a chance to build some confidence against a defense ranked 31st in yards conceded against the run.
Not only does the matchup pose as an ideal opportunity to continue the push for a playoff spot, but it invites experimentation, providing everything goes to plan.
Weakend Giants offensive line
Injuries over the past few weeks to Justin Pugh, Brett Jones and Marshall Newhouse, mean Will Beatty and Shane McDermott represent the only offensive linemen fit to play as backups for the Giants.
Adam Gettis looks set to fill in at left guard in a game that could mark his first ever start as a pro and only his 17th appearance of a career in which he has so far been cut five times.
Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivain was quick to express his faith in Gettis, telling giants.com: “In the past couple of weeks, when he had his opportunities, he has a finish mentality.”
He added: “He's a tough guy, he's a strong guy and also very smart. He has good versatility in terms of being able to snap the ball if necessary or play on the inside. Confident that if he's given his opportunities, he'll make the most of them.”
Giants taking no prisoners
The Giants will not be taking their opponents for granted as they look to once again present themselves as serious playoff contenders.
Outside linebacker and defensive captain Jonathan Casillas told giants.com: “I think I have a good understanding that each week you have to bring your A game, no matter who you're playing against.”
He added: “Because when they bring it and the whole locker room is not on board to bringing their best game out, having their best week of practice and then you show up a little sloppy. A couple little sloppy pieces here and there can make a not so good record team look like a good team.”