The Giant Insider Online

Vernon, Mauro should bolster Giants’ pass rush versus Panthers

The New York Giants defense will be getting some much-needed reinforcements this week when they head down to Carolina in Week 5 to play the Panthers.

Defensive lineman Josh Mauro, the 6-foot-6, 282-pound former Arizona Cardinal, will be making his Giants debut after serving a four game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs (PED) policy.

Mauro was signed by the Giants in March but was suspended a week later by the league. He attended training camp and played in the Giants’ four preseason games. He has been suspended without pay since September 3 and will now rejoin the team with the hope to bolster the front seven.

“He will be back. He’ll be out there,” said head coach Pat Shurmur. “We’ll get him out there practicing, and I think we have a week before we have to put him back on the roster. We’ll see how that goes. I think we’ve got to make the official move by next Monday.”

Also due back this week is outside linebacker Oliver Vernon, who has missed the team’s first four games with a high ankle sprain. The addition of these two players should help the Giants’ pass rush, which is the worst in the NFL at the moment, tied with Oakland for the least amount of sacks (5) through four games.

In Sunday’s game, the Giants sacked New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees once and hit him only one other time. That has to improve if they are to compete the rest of the way. Vernon was playing very well in preseason before the injury and the Giants were hopeful that the position change to linebacker from defensive end would unlock his potential.

The odd man out in this scenario could be veteran defensive end Kerry Wynn, who has been one of the Giants’ top defenders upfront this season. On Sunday, Wynn’s snaps were scaled back. He played on just 29 percent of the defensive snaps against the Saints. He split time with Mario Edwards, the former Raider.

This is will be a good thing for the Giants and they could use some good news. You can’t have too many pass rushers and with the lack of sacks and pressures, if they can amp up the pass rush without blitzing, it will ease the pressure on the secondary.

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