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Giants Rumors: Azeez Ojulari 'Expected to Be OK' After Suffering Lower-Body Injury

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 25, 2022

Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

New York Giants linebacker Azeez Ojulari appeared to suffer a lower-body injury during practice Thursday, but early reports indicate that the ailment is not serious, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network and Art Stapleton of the Bergen Record.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Giants?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Giants</a> pass-rusher Azeez Ojulari, who left practice early with a lower bosy injury, just underwent an MRI and is expected to be OK, I’m told. Nothing major.

Art Stapleton @art_stapleton

Sounds like MRI for Azeez Ojulari confirmed what initial exams and belief was post-practice on site: he avoided serious injury. No surprises. One would imagine that it's see you in Nashville, 51. <a href="https://t.co/SbEfEiZraM">https://t.co/SbEfEiZraM</a>

Ojulari was seen leaving the field with the help of trainers after end-of-practice sprints Thursday, when the Giants and New York Jets engaged in a joint session.

Dan Duggan @DDuggan21

Two trainers helping Azeez Ojulari off the field. Apparently pulled up lame during the end-of-practice sprints <a href="https://t.co/CStJDsEnyO">pic.twitter.com/CStJDsEnyO</a>

The second-year pro out of Georgia started training camp on the non-football injury list with a hamstring ailment but returned on Sunday, Aug. 14.

Ojulari, 22, amassed 49 tackles and eight sacks during his rookie campaign. He is the only Giant in franchise history to record a sack in each of his team's first three games, and he also holds the team's official rookie sack record (sacks were not made an official stat until 1982).

He's turned out to be a steal after the Giants selected the falling prospect with the No. 50 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

Reports indicated that Ojulari, who was initially pegged as a first-rounder predraft, was medically red-flagged.

Tony Pauline @TonyPauline

As I reported last week, Azeez Ojulari/Edge/Georgia had a bunch of significant medical red flags (knee/ankle) diagnosed during Combine medicals, which is the reason he's dropping down draft boards.

A check from the renowned Dr. James Andrews turned up OK, though, and the Giants didn't appear to have concerns.

Dan Duggan @DDuggan21

Source says Dr. James Andrews examined Ojulari’s knee in January and sent a letter to teams saying it was strong and there were no problems with it. Obviously teams did their own exams in Indy, so that could explain his slide. But some team could get a steal on Day 2.

The Giants ultimately ended up winners here, although the hope now is that Ojulari is healthy enough to go for the team's regular-season opener against the Tennessee Titans.

Other Giants, unfortunately, will not be making that trip to Nashville as the injury bug hits the franchise hard.

Rookie offensive lineman Marcus McKethan (torn ACL), first-year linebacker Darrian Beavers (torn ACL) and wide receiver Collin Johnson (torn Achilles) are all out for the season.

Other players' statuses are up in the air, with rookie linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux (MCL sprain) notably out three to four weeks. Offensive guard Shane Lemieux suffered a toe injury against the New England Patriots on Aug. 11 and hasn't returned since.

Big Blue's first game will go down on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 4:25 p.m. ET against the Titans in Nashville's Nissan Stadium.

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