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New York Giants Week 4 Injury Report: Giants Thin at Safety

Jabrill Peppers and Julian Love are on the Giants injury report this week and that could be a concern for New York's defensive secondary.

Giants safety Jabrill Peppers did not practice Wednesday, and there is a looming possibility that Peppers, who suffered a low ankle sprain in last week's loss to the 49ers, might be unavailable for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Peppers' looming absence leaves the Giants thin at safety, as defensive back Adrian Colbert (quad) and Julian Love (knee/ankle) join him on this week's injury report.

Colbert, listed as limited, has missed the last two games with his injury. Love, meanwhile, who was also listed as limited, is not believed to be in danger of missing this weekend's game.

Still, the injury situation at safety bears watching. The Giants are already missing rookie Xavier McKinney (broken foot), who's expected to be out at least until the end of November. If Peppers can't go as expected, the Giants could turn to a committee to fill in that box safety role.

One possible scenario that could unfold if Peppers has to miss any extensive time involves Madre Harper, the player the Giants signed off the Raiders practice squad. 

Assuming he clears the COVID-19 entry protocol and passes a physical, Harper should be eligible to practice with the team as soon as Thursday.

Harper will give the Giants depth at cornerback, giving Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham some flexibility with his personnel usage.

For example, Graham could move Isaac Yiadom, currently the No. 2 cornerback opposite of James Bradberry, to the box safety, where the 6'1" Yiadom has logged 69 career snaps during his time with Denver and 19 snaps thus far with the Giants.

But that would all be contingent on how quickly Harper could get up to speed on the Giants defense.

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The Giants also have Sean Chandler, whom they protected this week, as a potential fill-in at safety.

Chandler has already been called up from the practice squad twice, which is the maximum. The next time he's called up, he will have to pass through waivers if the Giants want to retain the rights to his services.

Cornerback Brandon Williams (groin) didn't practice Wednesday. Williams to IR could be the corresponding move the Giants make once their signing of Harper is official.  

Hold the Mayo

The minimum three-week injured reserve term of inside linebacker David Mayo (knee) is over, meaning Mayo, if healthy, is eligible to begin working toward a return to the active roster if he's deemed healthy enough.

But that return won't start until next week at the soonest, as Mayo, who had surgery in late August to repair his meniscus in his knee, was not designated to return this week by the team.

Mayo's return to the lineup would seem inevitable. Devante Downs has been starting alongside Blake Martinez in the base defense, but Downs has had his struggles, particularly in run defense.

In 49 run defense snaps, Downs has managed just two tackles and one stop with two missed tackles.

Last year for the Giants, Mayo, who was acquired in-season off waivers from the 49ers, became one of the more consistent performers among the linebackers against the run.

In 304 run defense snaps, Mayo recorded 58 total tackles and 37 stops, with ten missed tackles. Of his tackles, 46 came within five yards of the line of scrimmage.