Darren Waller’s return from injury may be only positive out of Giants’ opener

The much-anticipated Giants debut of tight end Darren Waller did indeed come off Sunday night against the Cowboys at MetLife Stadium.

The hamstring tightness Waller experienced late in the week did not keep him off the field.

That was about the only positive development for the player and his team in a horrific 40-0 loss to the Cowboys.

There was never really a significant danger of Waller missing the game.


Darren Waller did record some time on the field after experiencing hamstring tightness late in the week.
Darren Waller did record some time on the field after experiencing hamstring tightness late in the week.
AP

But when he showed up this past Friday on the injury report, listed as questionable with a hamstring issue, the alarm and concern about his availability was understandable, given his recent history.

He made it to the game and it was one to forget.

The best moment for Waller came in the second quarter, when he leaped to haul in a pass from Daniel Jones for a 22-yard gain.

Waller finished with three catches for 36 yards.

Waller played in only 11 games for the Raiders in 2021 and made it into only nine games in 2022, with lingering hamstring strains in both legs severely limiting his availability and production — a big reason why the Giants were able to get him in a trade for a third-round draft pick.


This was nearly the worst shutout loss in franchise history.

The Giants were beaten 45-0 by the Eagles during the 1948 season.

In their two-game sweep of the Giants last season, the Cowboys had eight sacks of Daniel Jones and did not allow any sacks of their quarterbacks.


Daniel Jones is sacked by Cowboys defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa during the second quarter.
Daniel Jones is sacked by Cowboys defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa during the second quarter.
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

In this game, there were seven sacks by the Cowboys and none by the Giants on Dak Prescott.


LB Bobby Okereke, in his first game with the Giants, forced a fumble of RB Tony Pollard early in the third quarter but the Cowboys recovered the ball.

Rookie Eric Gray made his NFL debut and had a 7-yard punt return late in the second quarter. … Rookie CB Deonte Banks had to leave the field in the third quarter when he cramped up.


The Cowboys became the third team in NFL history to get a special teams touchdown and defensive touchdown in their first quarter of the season. The Bears in 1967 and 1986 also did it.


WR Wan’Dale Robinson has made a steady and swift recovery from a torn ACL, but he was not able to make it back for the opener.

He was one of the inactive players for the Giants, which was an expected development, as he was listed as doubtful to play heading into the game.

There is a good chance Robinson will be activated for the Week 2 game against the Cardinals in Phoenix

If Robinson started the season on the physically unable to perform list he would have had to miss the first four games. The Giants are confident he will be able to play before then.

Five of the six players the Giants designated as inactive were dealing with injury concerns.

In addition to Robinson, CB Cor’Dale Flott, S Gevarrius Owens, LB Cam Brown and DL D.J. Davidson were all inactive. The only healthy scratch was G Shane Lemieux.

The Cowboys were without starting safety Donovan Wilson and starting left guard Tyler Smith.


WR Sterling Shepard, the longest-tenured Giants player — he was a second-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft — did not encounter any setbacks in his rehab from a torn ACL and embarked on his eighth season with the Giants. Shepard played sparingly and did not have a catch.

source: nypost.com