New York Giants receiver Ramses Barden suffered a concussion during the team’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football and, unfortunately, is unlikely to play against the Cleveland Browns, according to numerous reports.
When the concussion was suffered is uncertain, but Barden complained of a headache during the week and was diagnosed after being sent for evaluation on Tuesday. He did not practice Wednesday and is day-to-day until he is cleared to return.
Just when things finally seemed to be turning around for the former third-round pick, Barden has been hit with another bump in the road after two consecutive good games. He has 11 receptions for 174 yards in those last two contests—a number that matches his career mark for receiving yards coming into this season.
Being the Giants’ No. 4 receiver, the loss would appear to be minimal. Unfortunately, the roster is decimated by injuries and Barden was proving to be a significant playmaker with Hakeem Nicks struggling with a knee injury of his own. With both potentially sidelined for Sunday’s game with the Browns, Eli Manning and the Giants offense will have to forge forward with the talent they have.
Lucky for the Giants, they aren’t exactly facing the NFL’s most difficult opponent. The Browns are ranked 30th in run defense and second in pass defense. Those numbers should draw the attention of Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride as he prepares his game plan. New York got away from running the football in their game against the Eagles, but they would be foolish to do anything else against the Browns.
Such a dramatic difference between the Browns’ run and pass defenses should enable Manning a week off from carry the Giants on his back. The Giants have two fully capable backs in Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown, who could use some carries to get their momentum going again as Big Blue heads into the rough stretch of their schedule.
Will Barden’s absence hurt, that is, assuming he is unable to play on Sunday? Absolutely. It will be even more devastating if Nicks is forced out of action once again. But the Giants have the talent on offense—currently ranked eight in the NFL—to minimize their hindrances and get the job done in more ways than one, especially against a Browns team that could not buy a win right now.