Giants' Joe Judge doesn't commit to Andrew Thomas at left tackle after Matt Peart's solid first career start

Scott Thompson
·3 min read
Giants T Matt Peart at practice
Giants T Matt Peart at practice

Giants head coach Joe Judge reiterated that Andrew Thomas’ benching to start the game against Washington on Sunday was a disciplinary benching, not performance related.

But after Matt Peart put together a solid game while splitting time with Thomas, is there any doubt that Thomas – the Giants’ fourth overall pick in this year’s draft -- will be the starting at left tackle this Thursday against the Eagles?

It’s a legitimate question for Judge to consider, as Peart performed well in his 26 snaps at left tackle. In fact, Pro Football Focus graded him the highest of any Giants offensive player that was in for more than 25 snaps on Sunday. He had an 89.7 overall grade with a 93.4 run block grade. He also allowed one pressure in 11 pass block attempts.

When asked about the position for this upcoming game, Judge didn’t commit to Thomas returning to his normal starting job at left tackle.

“Yeah, we’ll go through practice this week and see how everything shakes out right now,” Thomas told reporters via Zoom. “But I was pleased with the way both he and Matt played along with Cam [Fleming]. We have multiple guys that can play the positions.”

That is typical Judge speak – not committing to anyone being a starter and earning it through practice and hard work. So maybe these couple of practices before the game will show Judge whether or not Thomas deserves another start over Peart. He did mention that every tackle gets reps on both sides of the offensive line to make sure they’re ready for anything.

It would be pretty telling, though, if Thomas was benched yet again for Peart to start at left tackle considering Thomas’ draft status and $32 million rookie deal. In the second half, Thomas was actually taken out of the game after allowing Montez Sweat to get around him quickly on a third-and-short run attempt that was a poor attempt at setting the edge and ended with Devonta Freeman not picking up the first down.

In Thomas' defense, he has been going up against some of the best edge rushers in the league in the past few weeks like Bud Dupress, Demarcus Lawrence and Khalil Mack. Peart hasn't had such luxury to battle with those NFL studs, but at the end of the day, this is the NFL and that's the competition both players will be seeing on a weekly basis. 

Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham, two first-round pick themselves, are this week's challenge. They have 7.5 total sacks between them in the last five weeks.

Still, Peart was drafted out of UConn in the third round and was considered a developmental player that had the potential to play a tackle position in the future. But his teammates are noticing during practice that he hasn’t been performing that way nor does he even seem like a rookie at all. His game against the Football Team further justified that thinking.

“He’s definitely a pro and he carries himself really well. It seems like he’s not a rookie sometimes,” center Nick Gates told the media.