Giants’ Evan Engram takes critical step toward potential Week 3 return

The Giants evaluated the injury late in the summer and determined tight end Evan Engram did not need to go on injured reserve, a move that would have kept him out for the first three weeks of the season. The medical prognosis was Engram would likely miss the first two games with his strained calf, but should be ready to return for Week 3.

That time is nearly here. If Engram is able to play Sunday against the Falcons, the Giants made the correct call with him. If Engram is deemed not ready for this game, the Giants made the wrong call and they should have put him on IR and used his roster spot for someone else.

Coach Joe Judge said prior to Wednesday’s practice that Engram would work with the trainers and then a determination would be made as to how much he could participate. Lo and behold, when the individual drills cranked up, Engram was out there, running routes and moving well. That was a positive sign.

Giants Evan Engram injury
Giants tight end Evan Engram
Bill Kostroun

“We were hopeful, coming out of camp we didn’t put him on IR, we were hopeful to get him to this point right here,” Judge said. “We’ll have to see these next couple of days how he can string it together.  

“I talk all the time about the point is to get guys on the field to keep them on the field.  We want to make sure, guys come off certain injuries, you don’t press ‘em too early and risk getting those guys out there playing fast and then we lose ‘em.”

Engram hurt his calf Aug. 29 in the final preseason game and although the strain was not considered to be severe, the nature of the injury was such that he was going to miss time. Nearly a month later, Engram now appears ready to return.

Judge certainly did not sound overly optimistic, though. He characterized how Engram looked on Monday as “decent.” When it was pointed out that “decent” is not “good,” Judge said, “You can go ahead and paraphrase it and try to structure whatever it is. For me, decent is decent.”

The Giants can use the offensive firepower Engram provides — when he is on his game. The production from the tight end position thus far has been negligible. Kyle Rudolph has four receptions for 33 yards and Kaden Smith has two catches for 24 yards.

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