EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) When the New York Giants came up with a defensive plan for the Indianapolis Colts and Andrew Luck, there was a question mark in it.
It was how much can cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie give the Giants against the NFL’s top-ranked offense?
A major offseason free agent acquisition, Rodgers-Cromartie has been bothered by back and hamstring injuries for more than a month. He has practiced for the past two days on a limited basis, but neither coach Tom Coughlin nor defensive coordinator Perry Fewell could say much Friday about his status for Monday night’s game at MetLife Stadium.
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Coughlin doubted he would be able to count on Rodgers-Cromartie as an every-down player. Fewell added that the veteran has practiced well, but he was concerned how he will feel Saturday.
”We’re working him and it depends on how he feels,” Fewell said Friday. ”Sometimes he is really good. When I say good, he’s been good back-to-back practices. We’ll see tomorrow if he tightens up, stiffens up. That’s how we approach it. It’s a day-to-day thing.”
Fewell said Rodgers-Cromartie was not able to go through consecutive practices before the Giants played Dallas on Oct. 19. He appeared in portions of that game and stayed in New Jersey this past week to get treatment while the Giants had a bye.
Rodgers-Cromartie, who signed a five-year, $35 million, was not in the locker room after practice and was not available for comment on his status.
If he can’t go or sees limited action in the game, Zack Bowman will join Prince Amukamara as the starting cornerbacks, with Jayron Hosley as the nickel back.
With the Giants trying to snap a two-game losing streak, this is a game they could use Rodgers-Cromartie as much as possible.
Luck is on a roll, having thrown for at least 300 yards in his last six games, including a 400-yard effort in a loss to Pittsburgh last weekend.
Bowman said Luck is clearly in the league’s elite.
”He can run out of the pocket and make all the throws,” Bowman said. ”There is no weakness or downside about him.”
When they spoke about Luck, the defensive backs agreed he had the complete package. He has a great arm, athleticism to extend plays and the intelligence to read defenses and pick them apart.
”Andrew Luck, he is definitely beyond his time,” safety Antrel Rolle said.
Luck also has an outstanding receiving corps, led by speedster T.Y. Hilton, who paces the team with 53 catches for an NFL-best 866 yards. The group will be even better on Monday night if veteran Reggie Wayne returns from an elbow injury and joins wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Donte Moncrief. Indianapolis also has a potent tight end package with Dwayne Allen, Coby Fleener and Jack Doyle.
Giants safety Quintin Demps said Luck can see holes in a defense.
”He will take what he gets,” Demps said. ”He won’t force anything, but he’s not afraid to take it up top when he needs to. He does a good job of running the offense. You add in Ahmad Bradshaw and (Trent) Richardson, they are the No. 1 offense for a reason. They play good football. We have to come on with it.”
NOTES: Coughlin said odds of G Geoff Schwartz playing Monday are long. He returned to practice this week after spending the first eight weeks on recallable injured reserve with a toe injury. … Hosley is starting to round into form after missing the first four game because of a league suspension. ”I told him today, I thought yesterday he showed a lot of quickness and speed. I’d like to see it pretty much on every play. He does have cover ability, he’s just got to do it over and over again consistently,” Coughlin said. … Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo said the team rating for explosive plays is 10.3, which is 2.7 percent below the number that puts teams in the top percentage in the league. He added 2.7 percent below is a fairly substantial number.
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