New York Giants outside linebacker Olivier Vernon is in jeopardy of sitting out the team’s season opener after missing Thursday’s practice.
Vernon sustained a high-ankle sprain last week, with coach Pat Shurmur telling reporters on Thursday that he’s uncertain if he’ll play against the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen this weekend so we’ll have to see as we go,” Shurmur said, via Newsday.
Third-round pick Lorenzo Carter would be in line to replace the 27-year-old Vernon, who was carted off the field on Aug. 26 after his foot was tangled with an offensive lineman during a drill.
Vernon recorded 6.5 sacks in an injury-filled season last year for the Giants, who limped to a 3-13 mark.
New York is looking for more from Vernon, particularly after Jason Pierre-Paul signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the offseason. Pierre-Paul had a team-high 8.5 sacks in 2017.
Vernon has been shifted to outside linebacker in the team’s 3-4 scheme to maximize his pass-rushing skills.
The 6-foot-2, 270-pound Vernon started all 16 games and registered 8.5 sacks in 2016 after signing a five-year, $85 million contract that included $52.5 million in guaranteed money.
A third-round pick of Miami in the 2012 draft, Vernon notched 29 sacks in four seasons with the Miami Dolphins, including a career-high 11.5 in 2013.