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Dottino: 3 Things To Watch As Injury-Riddled Giants Take On Jets

By Paul Dottino
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One could not blame Giants coach Tom Coughlin if he didn't want to play any more preseason games.

His injury-riddled roster loses players nearly every time they step onto the field, chipping away at whatever optimism was built in the days following the NFL Draft. Sure, hope springs eternal -- in the spring.

But the calendar already has turned to August and the Giants have just two preseason games remaining, beginning with Saturday's annual preseason battle against the Jets -- and, as usual, the starters are expected to play through the first half as a dress rehearsal for the regular season.

"There has to be a little bit of a sense of urgency right now," Coughlin said. "You're a couple weeks away from lining up. So, I mean, I'd like to see things done well, done right."

The regular season? No sense in even talking about that now, not with so many unanswered health questions on the coach's blackboard.

So let's focus on what you need to watch in this game, the 47th edition of a rivalry which the Jets lead, 24-21-1:


The injury bug has hit the Giants the hardest at safety, where first-round SS Landon Collins (knee) is expected to start in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys. He was injured two weeks ago in Cincinnati and didn't return to practice until this past week, although the plan is to get him much-needed reps against the Jets. Bennett Jackson (torn ACL) was lost for the year against Jacksonville and Nat Berhe required calf surgery for a blood clot this week, so that leaves veteran FS Jeromy Miles and SS Brandon Meriweather as next up. Beyond this trio, the Giants are left hoping that the oft-injured Cooper Taylor can remain on the field for enough snaps to show progress.


Jon Beason's durability was put to the test and he came up short against Jacksonville, suffering a sprained knee that's got him listed as week to week. As he did last season, SLB Jameel McClain will slide inside to man the middle and call the signals. It will be critical for the defense to make a seamless transition, given that the players are still getting accustomed to new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's system. Reserve OLB Mark Herzlich (concussion) is also out, meaning the unit is down two veterans who figured to get significant snaps. OLD Jonathan Casillas and third-string MLB Uani 'Unga (who has shown flashes) ought to get plenty of important playing time in this game.


WR Victor Cruz (calf) is out and it's uncertain how much Rueben Randle (knee) will play, which allows the tight competition on the depth chart to continue. Sixth-rounder Jeremy Davis and veteran James Jones were two of the best players on offense last week and hope to continue their production -- they'll need to remain on course because Corey Washington and Preston Parker are determined to remain in this battle as the team prepares to cut to 75 players on Tuesday and then to 53 on Sept. 5.

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