EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — With Kenny Phillips likely a game-time decision for the Giants, rookie Brian Jackson could see playing time at safety against the Texans just one week after being elevated from the New York’s practice squad.
The 6-foot, 198-pound cornerback will also be playing out of his natural position.
Phillips didn’t practice Friday after getting limited work the previous two days because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.
The injury occurred late in Sunday night’s game against the Chicago Bears and the team said it is unrelated to the microfracture surgery that ended Phillips’ 2009 season after just two games.
“I guess (a game-time decision) is where it’s heading right now,” said Phillips, who was listed as questionable. “We will see.”
Phillips called it a “minor” sprain, and early in the week the Giants had simply said the knee was tired and sore. Though his practice limitations appeared precautionary at first, the situation appears to have worsened.
The injury news wasn’t all bad. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw got limited work in Friday’s practice after missing two days with a sprained right ankle, and said he should be ready to go.
Bradshaw, also listed as questionable, rushed for 129 yards against the Bears.
“I didn’t have any setbacks at all,” he said. “It’s just something that happened. I’ve had ankle sprains before. It’s just something that occurs. There’s no doubt I’ll play.”
Phillips’ injury has forced coach Tom Coughlin and defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to make adjustments to add depth to a safety spot with only two healthy players, Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant.
Aaron Ross would be the natural option to fill in for Phillips, but Coughlin said he wants him strictly at cornerback to help Terrell Thomas, just back from a hamstring problem, and Corey Webster to handle the receiving corps for Texas’ second-ranked offense: Andre Johnson, Jacoby Jones, Kevin Walter, and tight end Joel Dreessen.
That would leave the rookie from Oklahoma to help in an emergency situation on shutting down second-year rushing phenomenon Arian Foster. The Giants may need him to help second-year linebacker Clint Sintim, who is filling in on the strong side for injured starter Keith Bulluck (toe).
“It’s something new for me, so I just have to go out and try to make some plays,” said Jackson, who only took his first career practice snaps at safety this week. “It’s not that different because in college, you can end up playing half (the field) at corner. It’s pretty much the same.
“In college, I played the boundary corner, so I was a run-support corner. It’s more read and reaction than straight man-to-man. I guess they feel like they have a playmaker in me, so I’m excited.”
Bulluck, defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka (neck), T Will Beatty (foot), FB Madison Hedgecock (hamstring), and C Shaun O’Hara (Achilles and ankle) have been ruled out for the game. Bradshaw, Thomas, and Phillips are questionable, and DE Osi Umenyiora (knee) and C Adam Koets (knee) are probable.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.