Now that he’s been told that starting CB Prince Amukamara suffered a “moderate high ankle sprain” in Friday’s preseason loss to the Chicago Bears, Giants coach Tom Coughlin is more than concerned about his depth at the position.
“'Concerned’ is a very modest word,” Coughlin said during a conference call Saturday.
Cornerback Terrell Thomas is working to return after aggravating his surgically repaired right knee (ACL) during training camp, rookie Jayron Hosley is still in a walking boot after suffering a toe injury in the second preseason game and Michael Coe returned from a hamstring injury to play against the Bears on Friday.
There is no timetable for the return of Thomas or Amukamara.
Coughlin said the Giants will always look to the free-agent ranks for talent, but cautioned that it’s very late to find a contributor at this point. He expects someone on the roster to step up. He seemed to resist the idea of moving S Antrel Rolle up to cornerback.
“I would like to leave Antrel where he is,'' Coughlin said. "We’re open to anything if things deteriorate.''
Coughlin was also asked about the chance that Thomas could return for the opener but didn’t seem to think that was a possibility.
“Not according to what I’m reading, no,” Coughlin said.
Coughlin said Hosley could be out of his walking boot in the next few days and from there the next step would be some “light running,” but for now it appears Coe is the favorite to replace Amukamara in the starting lineup in the season opener.
“I thought Michael Coe played well for the opportunity he had,” Coughlin said about the veteran’s performance against the Bears on Friday.
Marvin Austin suffers setback: The second-year defensive tackle seemed poised to make a quick return from a sore back, but Coughlin said he’s hit a speed bump. “He was doing well then he had a little setback,” Coughlin said. “It’s not clear when he can go.”
Will Beatty to begin individual drills: Beatty’s back has improved to the point where Coughlin is hoping he can do individual drills next week. And although Coughlin didn’t say so, it’s hard to imagine Beatty being back for Week 1. Coughlin said that veteran Sean Locklear played well in his place at left tackle.
Jacquian Williams is still in the mix: The second-year weakside linebacker didn’t play on Friday but that doesn’t mean he suffered a setback with his hip injury. “It was just a decision,” Coughlin said. “I expect that he’ll practice and be ready to go tomorrow.”
Mathias Kiwanuka should still play in opener: Kiwanuka’s status is up in the air for the final preseason game, but Coughlin said he’s still “projecting” him for the opener. Kiwanuka played both strongside linebacker and defensive end on Friday.
Giants bolster defensive tackle depth from within: Markus Kuhn was seen as a project until a recent barrage of injuries at defensive tackle forced him into a more prominent role. The good news is that he appears to have responded to the increased workload. “Markus Kuhn played in a rotation with the first defense and he had a good game as well,” Coughlin said. Kuhn can help make up for the absences of Chris Canty (knee), Shaun Rogers (blood clot) and Austin.
Ahmad Bradshaw’s hand improves: The swelling has gone down in Bradshaw’s right hand so he might be able to increase his reps at practice this week. “We’ll see,” Coughlin said. “His hand is definitely improving, not as fast as he would like, but it is.”