By Curt Macysyn
New York's lethargic run defense will be put to the test this week as Adrian Peterson and his Minnesota Vikings play host to the Giants' porous defense. The Giants are currently ranked 21st in the league in rush defense, and the team will be without their best tackling rush defender as Devon Kennard will be declared out of this contest. In addition, defensive tackle Markus Kuhn is still nursing a knee injury and will not play. Linebackers J.T. Thomas and Jonathan Casillas will gather some more repetitions in place of Kennard, while Jay Bromley will look to fill in the middle in the base 4-3 defense. Along with defensive linemen Montori Hughes, Cullen Jenkins will be counted upon to stop Peterson and keep the pressure on young quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as both defensive end and tackle.
George Selvie has been cleared out of the NFL concussion protocol and will likely play on Sunday. He adds depth to the defensive line that picked up a couple of sacks last week against the Carolina Panthers. Cooper Taylor started at safety last week, but had to leave the contest with a concussion. The coaches will have to select from Landon Collins or Brandon Meriweather to fill in for Taylor as he recovers. Meriweather was just re-signed by the Giants after being cut two weeks ago.
Special teams ace and running back Orleans Darkwa missed Friday's practice due to an undisclosed injury, but expect him to play on Sunday.
Receiver Dwayne Harris has chipped in as a pass catcher and return specialist this year, but he has a sore shoulder. Without Odell Beckham, Harris will be the slot receiver. But if Harris cannot play, the Giants will likely have to use Rueben Randle to return punts against Minnesota. Linebacker James Morris has played on mostly special teams this season, and he will miss this contest due to a quad injury. The weekly citing of Ereck Flowers on the injury report shows his battle with an illness this week, but look for him to play on Sunday.
Orleans Darkwa, RB (Illness)
Ereck Flowers, OT (Illness)
George Selvie, DE (Concussion)
Dwayne Harris, WR (Shoulder)
Devon Kennard, LB (Hamstring/Foot)
Markus Kuhn, DT (Knee)
James Morris, LB (Quad)
Cooper Taylor, S (Concussion)
Curt Macysyn has been covering the New York Football Giants for the past four seasons for Examiner.com, and he is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA). Born and raised in New Jersey, Curt attended Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, N.J. and is a graduate of Rutgers University - New Brunswick. Follow him on Twitter @CurtMac23 for the latest NFL and New York Giants news.
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