EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A day after watching starting cornerback Prince Amukamara get a moderate high ankle sprain, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin said he concerned about the state of his banged-up secondary.
It’s looking like the Giants will need to upgrade their thin secondary.
“We’re certainly concerned and that’s a modest word,” Coughlin said during a conference call Saturday.
The Giants (No. 3 in the AP Pro32) had the day off following the 20-17 loss to the Bears on Friday.
“All you have to do is look around and see what we have there,” Coughlin said. “We started out with what we thought was good numbers and good quality at that position.
“I don’t know why we continue to have this happen to us at that position. It’s been that way for the last couple of years. Our numbers have dwindled there now.”
Amukamara, who missed most of his rookie season with a broken foot he suffered on his second day of practice after signing last year, was projected as a starter at cornerback this season.
Amukamara had X-rays taken, but they came back negative. The extent of his injury is not yet known and it’s not been determined how long he will be out of action.
“I know he’s sore today,” Coughlin said. “I don’t know how long he will be out. It’s unfortunately longer than you would like it to be. I guess it’s all depending on the damage and how much pain he could tolerate.”
Amukamara joins fellow cornerbacks Terrell Thomas (strained ACL) and rookie Jayron Hosley (turf toe) on the sideline with injuries.
Coughlin said that he will look to veteran reserves Michael Coe and Bruce Johnson to step in while Amukamara and Thomas remained out, but Johnson is still recovering from a torn Achilles tendon last season.
“Michael Coe played well, but he’s coming off a hamstring injury,” Coughlin said. “I think we’ve all tried to encourage Bruce to engage more and make some plays.
“It would let us see some positive things as we move forward. We challenge all our defensive backs to play tighter coverage, even in the zone.”
Coughlin was asked if the injuries would force the Giants to look elsewhere for defensive back help.
“We’re certainly always scanning and looking to see if there are people out there who could help us,” Coughlin said. “But it’s difficult to assess whether there are any people out there who can help us. I think it has to come from inside (the current roster).”
Thomas, who missed all of last season after undergoing ACL surgery, wrote on his blog that he hopes to be back in time for the season opener Sept. 5 against the Dallas Cowboys. But Coughlin is not sure about that.
“That’s not according to what I’m reading,” Coughlin said. “We can give way to hope, but no one has told me he’s become ready to run. At that position, you need to start and stop quickly, change directions on a dime. It’s not easy.”
Coughlin said that he wasn’t sure about moving a safety up to play corner.
“We’ve done that with Antrelle (Rolle) before, but I would not think that’s an option right now,” Coughlin said. “But I’m willing to try anything if the need could be there.”
Coughlin said that starting outside linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka was sore Saturday and won’t play in the final preseason game Wednesday against New England, but should be fine for the season opener a week later.
Offensive tackle Will Beatty, who has not played during the preseason because of back issues, showed some signs of improvement.
“He’s had four pretty good days in a row,” Coughlin said. “I feel pretty good about his strength. We have to see where he goes.”
Coughlin said that most of his starters will not see action against the Patriots Wednesday.
But he does have goals for the game.
“We’re looking for people to get ample playing time to prove whether or not they can help us,” Coughlin said. “Whether they’re young or rookies, they have to prove that they can truly contribute. We’re always looking and evaluating and they’ll get a chance against a quality opponent.”
Is this a worry for the Giants ahead of their Super Bowl defense? Let us know…
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