EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — New York Giants free safety Stevie Brown will miss the regular season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee that he hurt in Saturday’s preseason overtime loss to the Jets.
The 27-year-old Brown, who led the Giants with eight interceptions last season, was placed on injured reserve on Sunday.
“I feel badly for him,” coach Tom Coughlin said in a conference call.
“He played well for us last year and prepared himself well for this season. We’re definitely going to miss him. We’ll continue, because that’s what we do.”
For now, it leaves the Giants without the starting safeties from a year ago, with strong safety Antrel Rolle still out with a sprained ankle.
“But we expect Antrel to practice this week and get him back on the field,” Coughlin said.
Brown’s injury, which came on a non-contact play soon after he intercepted Geno Smith’s pass and returned it 22 yards, will move fifth-year veteran Ryan Mundy into a starting role.
Mundy signed with the Giants in the offseason after spending his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He started only five games in four years, with one interception.
“He has played well,” Coughlin said of Mundy. “He can play both safety positions. He’s proven to be physical. We’ll see about that.”
Tyler Sash, a third-year veteran, has a chance to move up the depth chart with Brown out for the season.
“He’s certainly going to get a lot of playing time,” Coughlin said of Sash. “It’s up to his production, but the opportunity is going to be there. He knows what’s in front of him and has the opportunity.”
Another safety who might have been in the mix to start is second-year pro Will Hill, who made the team as a free agent out of training camp last year.
If he makes the Giants’ roster next week, he will miss the first four games of the 2013 season for another drug offense.
“He’s been playing and playing well,” Coughlin said of Hill. “He’s outstanding in the special teams. But we’re not going to have him for four games. We acknowledge what he can bring to the table, but we can’t be lured into thinking we’re OK because he’s not going to be here. That’s a shame.”
Former standout cornerback Terrell Thomas, who is making a comeback after two ACL surgeries, is probably not a candidate for playing time at safety.
“He played real well last night and I feel real good about him,” Coughlin said. “He had a couple of serious injuries. We want him to get close to 100 percent physically as possible.
“We know he’s a player. He’s certainly a talented guy, an outstanding player. We’re trying to get him on the field where his confidence is up. We haven’t thought about another spot. We just want to get him confident and playing.”
Cornerback Corey Webster should also return to practice this week before the Giants close out the preseason Thursday night against the Patriots in Foxborough.
Coughlin said that the secondary “was not any more of a concern than any other areas.”
“We just have to get the guys back on the field and see where we are,” Coughlin said. “We have to get the people out there and get the right combination.”
NOTES: The Giants got their roster down to 75 by placing Brown on IR and cutting 14 players, the most notable being LB Aaron Curry, the former first-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks. Curry was beaten out of playing time recently by Kyle Bosworth. … Others released included FB Ben Guidugli; wide receivers Brandon Collins and Terrence Sinkfield; tight ends Jamie Childers and Chase Clement; offensive linemen Michael Jasper and Austin Holtz; linebackers Jake Muasau and Etienne Sabino; defensive tackle Frank Okam; and defensive backs Laron Scott, Junior Mertile and Alonzo Tweedy.