Giants head to Philly with banged-up secondary
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)
It's been the norm this season for the Super Bowl champions. It started on the first day of practice at training camp when veteran Terrell Thomas reinjured a surgically repaired knee and it's just kept on going.
Cornerbacks Prince Amukamara, Michael Coe and rookie Jayron Hosley have battled hamstring injuries over the past month. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has a couple of new worries this week with cornerback Corey Webster playing with a broken right hand and veteran safety Antrel Rolle battling a bruised knee.
Rolle's injury might be the biggest concern. He hurt his left knee jumping over a cameraman in Charlotte, N.C., a week ago Thursday and it's still sore.
It was so sore this Thursday that Rolle missed his first in-season practice since joining the Giants in 2010.
''Right now I can't say it's a for-sure thing,'' said Rolle, who has started 39 consecutive games for New York. ''In my mind am I going to play on Sunday, God willing it goes as planned and my knee feels good enough and I will be good enough to go out there.''
Fewell has even more faith in Rolle.
''I don't think there's any question about it,'' Fewell said when asked if Rolle would play. ''I mean he practiced on Monday, he practiced on Wednesday. I think he'll be ready to roll.''
The last time Rolle missed a game was the finale of the 2009 regular season when a torn quad muscle and a hematoma kept him out of an Arizona Cardinals game. He was back for the playoffs the following week and scored a touchdown on a fumble return.
''He never misses a thing,'' said Fewell, noting that resting him on Thursday was more precautionary.
Rolle had an MRI on Wednesday and he did work in the Giants' facility Thursday, trying to improve his range of motion.
''Nicks and bruises, things of that nature, really doesn't bother me too much,'' Rolle said. ''But you can't run without your knees, so that's a little bit more serious. I'm just trying to make sure I'm able to - if I can give 90 percent, 85 percent on Sunday, I think that will be good enough for me playing the safety position.''
The one thing Rolle doesn't want to do is hurt the knee further and possibly miss a number of games.
''I'm a guy that goes out there and is ride-and-die,'' he said. ''I'm going to out there and a least give it a shot.''
There is no doubt Webster will make his 20th straight start for the Giants despite the broken hand. Webster has not missed a practice this week. He has worn a large cast on his hand but expects to play with a smaller one on Sunday.
''He made some plays in practice today that were just outstanding,'' said Fewell, adding Webster caught a couple of passes using his left hand. ''Obviously we're concerned with how well he'll be able to wrap tackle, but it looked like he did that pretty well today.''
Webster told reporters he would discuss playing with the injury after he showered, but he never returned to his locker Thursday.
Hosley started the past two games opposite Webster, but he has not practiced this week and it seems unlikely he will play.
Amukamara, the Giants' first-round draft pick in 2011, will get his first career start Sunday night, Fewell said.
Coe, who missed the game in Carolina because of the hamstring injury, will probably be the fifth defensive back. He will probably play the nickel position in passing situations, although the defensive backs are interchangeable when the team plays a nickel or dime package.
''It happens every year with a team, you think you have six running backs or you're deep in the secondary and all the sudden you have one running back or you go down a couple of defensive backs,'' said Coe, who started the season opener at cornerback after Thomas was put on injured reserve and Amukamara was not healthy.
''That's why in the preseason, the coaches preach it, it's imperative that the backups know what they have to do,'' Coe added. ''You never know. You need to be ready all the time. That's why we are hard on each other in our room. It brings out the competitive spirit in each of us.''
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