Frustration beginning to grow among Giants players

Don’t read too much into snaps counts because September is all about figuring out what the roster is made of and how to use personnel.

That’s what New York Giants head coach Joe Judge said earlier this week, but some of his players don’t appear to be buying it. Or on board with it, for that matter.

Defensive captain Jabrill Peppers, who usually plays more than 95 percent of the team’s snaps, took less 50 percent in a 27-13 loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 1. And no, it did not sit well.

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Although Peppers didn’t necessarily vent his frustrations outright, there was no mistaking they existed on Tuesday when he met with reporters.

“It’s different,” Peppers said. “It’s just the game plan right now. Whatever the coaches think is best for that week, that’s what it’s going to be.”

But is it a difficult pill to swallow?

“You could say that,” Peppers said. “[But] I’ve got to do whatever is best for the team.”

To his credit, Peppers acknowledged that his play in Week 1 was “sub par.” He didn’t blame that on inconsistent playing time, but it’s clear that contributed. And compounding matters, Peppers isn’t entirely sure if his snap counts will return to normal.

“That’s week to week. That’s something you’ve got to talk to Joe about,” Peppers said. “When my number is called, do a better job than I did last week. I’ve got to play better press technique. When my number is called just make sure I do what I’ve got to do.”

Peppers’ lack of playing time wasn’t just frustrating for him, it was frustrating for other members of the defense, too.

“I will say having Peppers on the field, he does add a physicalness to our defense because I feel like he’s our enforcer, so definitely adds a different element to the defense when he’s on the field,” cornerback James Bradberry said.

The frustration wasn’t just isolated to the defensive side of the ball. Some players on the offensive side were also less than thrilled with their snap counts in Week 1.

“It’s not my normal workload. Usually, I’d probably have a lot more plays, but that’s all I’m saying,” running back Saquon Barkley said following Sunday’s loss to the Broncos.

Barkley, of course, is coming back from a torn ACL, so the limits being put on him are understandable. Peppers, not so much.

Either way, there are several Giants currently frustrated with their role and if the losses continue to pile up, that frustration is only going to grow louder.

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