— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 17, 2018
Arizona Cardinals Sign Justin Pugh
The 2017 season was Justin Pugh’s fifth season with the New York Giants, and the results summed up his young career quite well. When he was healthy, the versatile offensive lineman anchored a struggling unit. Pugh played the first three games at left guard and the next five at right tackle. However, he missed the final eight games because of a lingering back issue. Fortunately, back surgery was not required and he is expected to make a full recovery for the start of the 2018 season.
This wasn’t Pugh’s first injury, though. He has played a full 16 games in only one season, missing a total of 17 games during his five-year career. He missed two games in 2014 because of a quad injury, two games in 2015 because of a concussion, and five games in 2016 because of a sprained MCL. He has never appeared in a Pro Bowl or received All-Pro honors, but he has consistently been solid despite the limited talent surrounding him.
Pugh began his career at right tackle, starting his first 30 games at the position. After the 2014 season, the Giants drafted Ereck Flowers and decided to move Pugh to left guard. The plan was for Flowers to play Pugh’s right tackle position initially, but when Will Beatty tore his left pectoral muscle, Flowers and Pugh ended up next to each other on the offensive line. Pugh played better than ever at his new position, while Flowers predictably struggled.
Pugh was selected with the 19th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. He was the seventh offensive lineman selected in that draft.
Pugh was the highest player selected from Syracuse since Dwight Freeney in 2002. He played for three seasons (and redshirted for one) at Syracuse, starting 34 games in his collegiate career. He earned All-Big East honors three times.
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