The New York Giants have lost four straight games and have been fighting through injury problems since training camp.
Left tackle Will Beatty became the ninth Giant to wind up on season-ending injured reserve last week after undergoing surgery for a detached retina. Veteran tackle Stacy Andrews will end up on IR as well after he was hospitalized Saturday night with pulmonary embolisms in both lungs.
Even with the recent losing streak—one that has taken a luster off a 6-2 start that included a win in Foxborough that ended the New England Patriots’ 20-game home-field winning streak in the regular season—the Giants are still very much in the thick of the NFC playoff race.
At 6-6, Big Blue trails the Dallas Cowboys by a game in the NFC East race. In the hunt for the NFC wild-card spots are Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit, all 7-5, and two of those clubs—Chicago and Detroit—have been struggling of late.
With four games remaining, the Giants could use some contributions from their younger players. There are five of those young guys who could play key roles during the stretch run if they were able to take their level of play up a notch.
Only players who are in their first or second year in the league and who are currently on the active roster were considered for this list. Most notably, that eliminates defensive tackle Marvin Austin, who tore a pectoral muscle in training camp after falling to the Giants in the second round of the 2011 draft.