The New York Giants currently sit at 2-0, their best start since 2016. But on the way to beating the Carolina Panthers, they lost a significant piece on defense.
During the Giants’ 19-16 victory over the Panthers, defensive tackle Leonard Williams went down with an injury. It was later announced that he was dealing with a sprained MCL.
But Williams may return to this Giants front sooner than many think
During a recent press conference, Giants head coach Brian Daboll provided an update on the team’s defensive leader.
#Giants DT Leonard Williams suffered a sprained MCL on Sunday, source said. While he may miss time, it’s not expected to be much. Coach Brian Daboll had said it was "better than it could be.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 19, 2022
Daboll noted that Williams will miss some time, it isn’t as much as they originally believed. He also stated that it was “better than it could be.” in terms of the severity of the sprain.
Since joining the Giants in 2019, Williams has been a force on the defensive front. He has appeared in 43 games, recording 145 total tackles, 21 tackles for loss, and 18.5 total sacks.
Before getting hurt, Williams was solid in the team’s first two games. He recorded seven total tackles over this time.
With the loss of Williams, the Giants’ defense will still yet play a game where they are at 100%.
As soon as next week, they could have second-year edge rusher Azeez Ojulari. Along with the return of Ojulari, Kayvon Thibodeaux could also make his regular-season debut.
The pair of Thibodeaux and Ojulari could be the face of this Giants defense for the foreseeable future. After spending the fifth overall pick on Thibodeaux, expectations are sky high for the rookie and he will be expected to make an immediate impact.
When Williams does finally return, the Giants’ defensive front will be full of potential. With Dexter Lawrence, Williams, Ojulari, and Thibodeaux, this unit could be elite.