The news we anticipated but didn't want to believe has now been confirmed; Lorenzo Carter, Giants outside linebacker, is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles.
In his third year, Carter had his strongest start to a season, recording one sack, two tackle for losses, four quarterback hits, eleven solo tackles, and four assisted tackles, in only, basically, four games.
With an unpredictable Giants defense and an exceptionally thin pass-rushing unit, losing Lorenzo Carter is a big blow to this team. And now that Oshane Ximines has been placed on IR and Kyler Fackrell banged up, you can expect to see an increased workload for our old friend, Markus Golden.
In addition to Golden getting more playing time, the Giants might even sign a free agent or play their rookie outside linebackers, Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin.
Let's take a look at a few options.
Cam Brown - Rookie OLB for the NY Giants
The Giants took Cam Brown in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Brown went to Penn State and played in 51 total games. The Giants may look to get Brown in the mix at OLB, now that Carter is done for the year. They have similar frames, with brown standing at 6'5" and weighing 233 pounds. Carter does weigh about 22 pounds heavier, which could be something that Brown needs to focus on in the offseason if he wants to see more playing time. For now, Brown could be an exciting addition to the rotation of edge rushers in Carter's absence.
Carter Coughlin - Rookie OLB for the NY Giants
In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Giants took Carter Coughlin with one of their four seventh-round picks. Most fans and analysts liked this pick, like Mel Kiper Jr., who said, "He's relentless, I think it's a nice pickup. I thought he would go a little bit earlier in this, maybe in the fifth round."
So far into the season, we haven't seen Coughlin take any snaps on defense, just on special teams. With Carter now done for the year, the Giants could now look to Coughlin to step in during Lorenzo Carter's absence. He is a little bit shorter than Carter, standing at 6'3", but weighs 236 pounds.
I am interested to see if Coughlin gets any playing time moving forward and what he can do on the NFL field. What he did in his four years at Minnesota was impressive!
Trent Harris - Free Agent
The Giants may look to fill Carter's absence via free agency, but with COVID-19 rules and protocols, it makes the process a bit longer. According to Art Stapelton of USA TODAY, he reported that the Giants did have former Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Trent Harris in for a Friday visit and that both he and rookie linebacker Kendall Coleman are currently going through COVID-19 testing protocols.
The exciting part about Trent Harris is that he originally signed with New England as an undrafted rookie out of Miami, but he was on the team's practice squad for his first season. Having been in New England, Joe Judge has spent some time at practice with Harris and has an accurate scouting report on his abilities.
What is even more interesting is that in 2019, Harris signed with the Dolphins and played in 11 games, starting in three, where he recorded 22 tackles, one for a loss, one forced fumble, two quarterback hits, and one and a half total sacks.
Do you know who his defensive coordinator in Miami was?
Having spent time in both New England and Miami, Trent Harris is familiar with both coach Joe Judge and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.
This could be an exciting signing!
Kendall Coleman - Free Agent
The last potential signing here is Kendall Coleman, who signed with the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent, but was cut in August of 2020 to make room for the cornerback, Tremon Smith.
Coleman doesn't directly connect to the coaching staff, but he might be viewed as someone with potential, and someone that the coaches think can help pick-up the slack left behind by Lorenzo Carter.
Out of all these scenarios, which do you see being the most likely? Even though Brown & Coughlin will probably now start seeing some playing time, expect the Giants to sign one of these free agents.