Connelly suffered what appeared to be a non-contact injury in the 24-7 victory over the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium. He was pursuing Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins near the Giants sideline when his knee buckled. He crumpled to the ground and was immediately carted off the field.
“I was chasing him and next thing you know, I’m down,” Connelly said. “They can’t be sure about what it is until I get an MRI.”
An MRI Monday morning showed the tear and confirmed the team’s fears. The Giants announced Connelly will be placed on injured reserve and miss the remainder of the 2019 season. Sunday was the first time Connelly ever suffered a knee injury.
Connelly, a fifth-round pick out of Wisconsin, was becoming an important component of the Giants defense. He had a productive spring and took first-team reps early in training camp. Nonetheless, Tae Davis was the starter in the regular season opener against the Dallas Cowboys. Davis was pulled in the second half of that game and Connelly took over and made an immediate impact.
He snatched the Giants’ first interception of the season in the Week 3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to go along with 7 combined tackles. Sunday was the third start of Connelly’s career. He made the defensive calls on the field, a task usually reserved for the injured defensive captain Alec Ogletree (hamstring). He had five combined tackles (three solo), a tackle for a loss, a quarterback hit, an interception, and a pass defended before the injury.
Connelly will finish his rookie season with 20 combined tackles (10 solo), two tackles for a loss, a quarterback hit, two interceptions, and two passes defended. His loss is a huge blow to the Giants, who were already without Ogletree and Davis (concussion) against Washington.
The Giants will play the Minnesota Vikings at home in Week 5. The turnaround after Minnesota will be a short one as they travel to Foxborough to face the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in a Thursday night game.
After the Patriots, the Giants play the Arizona Cardinals (Week 7) at home, on the road against the Detroit Lions (Week 8), at home against the Dallas Cowboys on a Monday night (Week 9), and an “away” team designation for the latest regular season installment of the Snoopy Bowl against the New York Jets (Week 10) before their Week 11 bye.
Ogletree and Davis could make their returns to the lineup in short order. However, Davis still needs to clear concussion protocol. The Giants started David Mayo in place of Davis against Washington. Nate Stupar, who re-signed last week after being released before the regular season opener, also saw action Sunday. Rookie Josiah Tauaefa is also on the roster.