Evan Neal exits with ankle injury just as Giants’ offensive line gets healthy

LAS VEGAS — For the first time since the season opener, the Giants on Sunday had their starting offensive tackles on the field.

Left tackle Andrew Thomas and right tackle Evan Neal returned to their customary spots in a 30-6 loss to the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium.

It turned out to be a turbulent return, as quarterback Daniel Jones went down with a knee injury and the Giants were routed. 

It also might turn out to be a brief return for Neal, who missed the past two games with a sprained right ankle.

He was forced out against the Raiders in the fourth quarter with an injury to his left ankle. 

“It hurts, I’m pretty sure it’s similar to what I had in the other one,’’ Neal said. “I got long-armed and I had one foot in the ground and I was falling backwards and it was weird, I feel like I hyperextended it maybe.’’ 

Evan Neal injures his ankle during the Giants’ loss to the Raiders on Nov. 5.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Evan Neal injures his ankle during the Giants' loss to the Raiders on Nov. 5.
Evan Neal injures his ankle during the Giants’ loss to the Raiders on Nov. 5.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Thomas strained a hamstring in the horrible 40-0 loss to the Cowboys in Week 1.

He thought he was ready to give it a go for the Week 4 game against the Seahawks but re-injured himself in practice leading into that game, a setback that meant he would miss two full months before being able to return. 

“I hold myself to a better standard,’’ Thomas said. “There are some plays that I want back. I felt good, I just didn’t play to the standard I should have. I’m definitely winded. I’ve got to get my wind back. But I’ve just got to play better.’’ 

The Giants on offense on their first series went three-and-out and then lined up for a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-1.

Were they actually going to gamble on their own 29-yard line?

Coach Brian Daboll said the plan was to try to get the Raiders to jump offside but there was also an opportunity to actually run a play.

But Neal was called for a false start.

Daboll, his eyes wide, screamed as Neal came to the sideline.

Warning: expletive language

“What the f–k?’’ was the question posed to Neal. 

The run blocking was solid, as Saquon Barkley ran for 69 yards in the first half, with Justin Pugh moving inside to left guard, Ben Bredeson at right guard and rookie Josh Michael Schmitz at center.

This is the five-man unit the Giants want to see on the field. 

CB Adoree’ Jackson went out late in the second quarter with a concussion. … The Giants in their first eight possessions on offense had 109 total yards. … The Giants unveiled a new kicker for this game.

Veteran Randy Bullock won the kicking derby held Friday at the Giants’ practice facility and was the choice of the coaching staff, as he was signed from the practice squad.

Cade York, signed off the Titans practice squad, was one of the Giants’ six inactive players for the game. Bullock had two touchbacks on kickoffs but did not attempt any field goals or extra points.

A new kicker was needed after Graham Gano was placed on injured reserve.

He is set to undergo surgery on his left (non-kicking) knee. 

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