EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants benched first-round pick Andrew Thomas for the start of Sunday's game against the Washington Football Team. Fellow rookie Matt Peart took Thomas' spot at left tackle in the starting lineup.
Thomas, the No. 4 overall pick in this year's draft, was expected to face off against Chase Young, the No. 2 overall selection out of Ohio State. Instead it was Peart, the Giants' third-round pick this year, who started.
Thomas entered the game in the second quarter for the Giants' third offensive series. The move was not believed to be performance-related.
Thomas, however, has struggled early in his career after being thrust into the starting spot at left tackle with Nate Solder having opted out before the season. Thomas entered Sunday 61st out of 68 offensive tackles with a 79.4% pass rush win rate. He allowed a sack/fumble caused by DeMarcus Lawrence that was returned for a touchdown last week against the Dallas Cowboys.
The Giants had their choice of offensive tackles in this year's draft. They went with Thomas, who was an All-American at the University of Georgia, over Mekhi Becton, Jedrick Wills and Tristan Wirfs, all of whom were selected among the top 13 picks.
Thomas' early struggles do come with a caveat: He has had no acclimation period. He has faced some of the league's best pass-rushers (Khalil Mack, T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, Robert Quinn, Aldon Smith and Lawrence) over the first five weeks of the season.
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