Prior to Week 12, New York Giants rookie defensive back Julian Love had played just three defensive snaps in the team’s first 10 games. Then, last week in his hometown of Chicago against the Bears, Love played 42 of the Giants’ 76 defensive snaps, many of them due to the absence of starting safety Jabrill Peppers, who left the game with back injury.
Peppers will be out for some time — maybe the rest of the season if things don’t break his way — and the Giants will now turn to Love, a fourth-round draft pick out of Notre Dame, and veteran Michael Thomas.
“We’ll have a combination with Love back there, Michael Thomas,” head coach Pat Shurmur said on Wednesday as the Giants began preparation for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers’ visit this Sunday. “We’ll fill in. I thought Love did a good job with his first extended action last week. He’s displayed a lot of the things that we thought he might have. We’ll just try to build on that if for some reason Jabrill can’t make it.”
Jabrill has a fracture in his transverse process, an injury that heals itself with rest. Very few plan on seeing him anytime soon.
Many were wondering with all the rookies playing extensively this season why Love was the one that was held back. Shurmur said it was simply a matter of time and finding the right role for him.
“He was ready to play. He was ready to play, and we just made a decision coming off the bye week that it was time. That’s all,” Shurmur said.
Love had only one tackle in the game but managed to come away with his first career interception on an errant throw by Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. After all the waiting, he was ready.