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New York Giants Look To Exploit Depleted Panthers Secondary In Sunday’s Contest

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By Curt Macysyn

NEW ORLEANS - OCTOBER 03:  Lance Moore #16 of the New Orleans Saints is pushed out of bounds by Chris Gamble #20 and Charles Godfrey #30 of the Carolina Panthers at the Louisiana Superdome on October 3, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  of the Carolina Panthers

(Credit, Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Don’t expect the New York Football Giants to have sympathy for the injury plight of the Carolina Panthers, after all Big Blue lost three starters to serious injury before the season even began. Additionally, the G-men lost starting linebacker Dan Connor for the season after less than one half of their opening game and went into the contest with the Denver Broncos shorthanded, such is the life of the NFL.

But a rash of injuries on defense had new Carolina general manager Dave Gettleman on the phone this week, luring back the recently cut Drayton Florence to help out at cornerback on Wednesday. And rookie Robert Lester went from the Panthers practice squad to starting safety in the blink of an eye.

Things were quiet until Thursday on the Giants front, as only David Diehl and Adrien Robinson did not practice early in the week. But then on Thursday, a trio of Giants showed up on the injury list, including starting cornerback Corey Webster.

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is also competing with a heavy heart after his brother, John, passed away after a tragic accident on Sunday night.

New York Giants

The Giants appeared to be poised to go into Sunday’s contest with a relatively healthy squad, tackle David Diehl (thumb) and tight end Adrien Robinson (foot) did not practice early in the week. Both have been out with preseason injuries, so neither was expected to participate against Carolina.

Starting cornerback Corey Webster, reserve offensive lineman Brandon Mosley and backup quarterback Ryan Nassib showed up on the injury report after Tom Coughlin’s meeting with the media. Webster apparently is nursing a sore hip, and his status would appear to be questionable for Sunday. Mosely had his back flare up, and Nassib has a foot injury according to reports.

If Webster can’t go, then veteran cornerback Aaron Ross would be thrust into duty, which isn’t a complete downgrade for the G-men.

Carolina Panthers

Meeting the Giants explosive passing attack with a depleted secondary looks like a recipe for disaster for the Panthers. Both starting safeties, Chris Godfrey (Achilles tendon) and Quintin Mikell (ankle), are out against the Giants. Panthers coach Ron Rivera ruled Mikell out with a sprained ankle injury on Thursday, and Godrey was lost for the year against the Buffalo Bills with a torn Achilles tendon. Rookie Robert Lester will start at strong safety and Mike Mitchell will slide into the free safety slot.

If cornerback Josh Thomas is not cleared to play (concussion), then recently re-signed Drayton Florence will go from the parking lot to the starting lineup. Thomas did participate in practice on a limited basis yesterday. Defensive tackle Dwan Edwards is nursing a thigh injury and has not practiced this week, leading to speculation that he won’t play.

Nickel cornerback DJ Moore sprained a knee against Buffalo, and he has been ruled out for Sunday.

Linebackers Thomas Davis (leg) and Jon Beason (knee) look good to go after taking some time off this week.

Offensively, running back Mike Goodson and tight end Ben Hartsock practiced fully on Thursday, so their status moves to probable for Sunday’s game. Backup running back Kenjon Barner is looking to make his 2013 NFL debut this week, but still has not practiced.

Complete Injury Report

New York Giants

Questionable:

  • G Brandon Mosley (Back)
  • QB Ryan Nassib (Foot)
  • CB Corey Webster (Hip)

Out:

  • T David Diehl (Thumb)
  • TE Adrien Robinson (Foot)

Carolina Panthers

Probable:

  • FB Mike Tolbert (Knee)
  • LB Thomas Davis (Leg)
  • TE Ben Hartsock (Foot)
  • LB Jon Beason (Knee)

Questionable:

  • CB Josh Norman (Thigh)
  • CB Josh Thomas (Concussion)
  • RB Kenjon Barner (Foot)
  • DT Dwan Edwards (Thigh)

Doubtful:

  • CB James Dockery

Out:

  • S Quintin Mikell (Ankle)
  • CB DJ Moore (Knee)

Out = definitely will not play
Doubtful = at least 75 percent chance will not play
Questionable = 50-50 chance will not play
Probable = virtual certainty will be available for normal duty

For more Giants news and updates, visit Giants Central.

Curt Macysyn has been covering the New York Football Giants for the past two seasons for Examiner.com. Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Curt has followed and covered the New York Metropolitan sports scene for 35 years. He attended Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, NJ and is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick. His work can be found on Examiner.com.