Giants safety Phillips questionable vs. Eagles
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- After juggling running backs, wide receivers, and safeties during the season, Giant coach Tom Coughlin must now find a solution at right cornerback, where both starter Prince Amukamara and rookie fill-in Jayron Hosley are listed as doubtful with respective sprained right knee and strained quadriceps injuries.
If Amukamara and Hosley remain sidelined, the Giants will be down to just three healthy cornerbacks in Corey Webster, Justin Tryon, and rookie Terrence Frederick. The latter was signed this week from the practice squad when the Giants placed TE Travis Beckum on injured reserve.
Neither Tryon nor Frederick have any experience against Vick, a running quarterback who has hurt the Giants in the past with his legs.
"We have three guys, and we'll see what Prince is like," Coughlin said. "We'll go from there."
Not having Hosley as an option cuts deeply into the Giants' depth at right cornerback. His injury came as a surprise, as he pulled up late in Thursday's practice and was unable to do anything Friday except work out on the stationary bike. Amukamara, meanwhile, took some snaps with the starting unit in individual drills, but remained limited.
None of this is good news for a unit that incurred some major criticism from defensive coordinator Perry Fewell this week. Webster, especially, could use this game to atone for a disaster in Baltimore last week. The Ravens targeted the eighth-year veteran instead of going after the rookie Hosley and turned his game into a nightmare. Torrey Smith made five catches against him.
Webster was targeted 12 times, and he gave up nine catches, including a touchdown to Smith. In all, Webster gave up 176 yards of passing to Joe Flacco.
Vick spent the last six games sidelined by concussions, and is now facing questions about whether he might be going out the door with coach Andy Reid after Sunday's game. But for a Giants pass defense that has allowed an average of 257.4 air yards this year, and 574 yards and five touchdowns the past two games, Vick presents a major challenge for the potentially undermanned unit.
Hosley's injury puts that much more pressure on Amukamara to try to play, despite some lingering pain in the hamstring.
"It's the same as last week," Amukamara said. "It's a Catch-22. You don't want to be rehabbing the rest of the season if we make the playoffs. You just have to be smart enough. But I did everything they asked of me in practice.
"I'm always going to feel pain in my hamstring. It's a question of whether it's severe enough to keep me out of the game."
Amukamara missed two days of practice this week, but said he went into the week with the mindset that he would play. But he admitted his status would seem to indicate otherwise.
"I don't know how the scenario is going to work out this week," Amukamara said. "We'll see how it works out."
NOTES: A contingent of teachers, parents, and students from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., will be honored before Sunday's game. Coughlin said he made a point of telling the team about it Friday. "What it really means is that we were so taken back in shock and felt so badly for, not only the families of the children, but the principal and school psychologist -- the real heroes who knew what was coming and still charged the attack. And it's Giants country, we know that. To have that group come down, it means a great deal to us to honor them. The best we can do is take each individual and play to the best of his ability." WR Victor Cruz said he spoke last week to the Pinto family, whom he visited shortly after they buried their six-year-old son, Jack, in the receiver's jersey. "They're coming to the game," Cruz said. "It's good for them to come, just to get their minds off things a little.".Cruz expressed surprise that the league fined Ravens safety Ed Reed $55,000 for his above-the-shoulder hit on the defenseless receiver last week. Reed last month was fined $50,000 for a hit on Steelers WR Emanuel Sanders. "I think that's pretty steep," Cruz said. "It wasn't my decision, but I think that's a pretty heavy fine."