Blythe Hastings ’23
The New York Giants will again be without two of their top weapons. Saquon Barkely and Kenny Golladay have been ruled out for Monday night football against the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s the third consecutive game the duo will miss after each star went down in New York’s Week 5 loss to the Cowboys. Coach Joe Judge told reporters earlier Saturday that it was more likely Barkley and Golladay return for next week’s meeting with the Raiders. The availability of two other notable skill players is to be determined.
Wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney are listed as questionable. Toney has been limited in practice the past two days after sitting out Thursday. The emerging rookie missed the first game of his career last week. Shepard was also sidelined a week ago and has been limited in practice all week. Tight end Kaden Smith did not practice Saturday and is questionable as well. Quarterback Daniel Jones proved in Week 7’s 25-3 win over the Panthers that he can adapt without a full complement of receivers, though beating the Chiefs will likely require more offensive firepower.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield will have a crucial weapon against Pittsburgh on Sunday. Cleveland wide receiver Odell Beckham dealing with an AC joint sprain in his shoulder, should be good to go. However, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is a game-time decision. In five games this season, Beckham has 16 receptions for 223 yards and still looking for his first TD catch. The Browns who are currently 4-3 play host to the Steelers who are 3-3 in crucial AFC North battle.
Cordarrelle Patterson’s ground campaign has been one of the more pleasantly surprising developments of the 2021 season. The Atlanta Falcons will not be expected to ease up on the former All-Pro returner’s carries anytime soon. Patterson’s increased workload in recent weeks should continue this week and beyond. After averaging 22.75 snaps per game over the Falcons’ first four contests, the 30-year-old athlete has played 90 offensive snaps over Atlanta’s last two games, both of which were wins. Acting not only as just a returner and receiver, Patterson also carried the ball a career-high 14 times in both Weeks 5 and 7. His 21 touches against the Jets in London were the most he’s ever seen. Through six games already played, Patterson is Atlanta’s leader in yards from scrimmage with a total of 529, already boasts a career-high 233 rushing yards, and with four touches Sunday against the Carolina Panthers would have his most touches ever in season with 86.
Stephon Gilmore was activated off the physically unable to perform list Saturday, which clears the star cornerback to make his Panthers debut on Sunday against the Falcons. Gilmore will also be making his season debut, after being sidelined since last December with a quad injury. He was required to sit out the first six games because of his placement on the PUP list, and he missed one more while getting acclimated with his new team. The Panthers acquired Gilmore from the Patriots in early October for a 2023 sixth-round draft pick, a modest price for the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year. Gilmore, an impending free agent, has been seeking a new deal after earning three consecutive Pro Bowl nods in New England.
Now, he’ll try to help the struggling Carolina Panthers with his lights out defense. After opening the season 3-0 and boasting one of the league’s best defenses through September, the Panthers have lost four straight games while losing points on both sides of the ball. Gilmore was added in the wake of first-round rookie Jaycee Horn breaking his foot. Gilmore is ready to get to work, with the same attitude and skill that helped lead the Patriots to their dynasty of Superbowl’s.