Key Giants Defender’s ‘Availability in Doubt’; 3 Safeties Injured

Giants safety Jabrill Peppers availability in doubt

Getty Jabrill Peppers #21 of the New York Giants.

There’s a growing notion in the New York Giants‘ building that when they take the field this Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, they’ll be doing so without the likes of starting strong safety Jabrill Peppers.

Peppers, who sustained a low-ankle sprain attempting to block a field goal in last week’s loss to the 49ers, missed practice on both Thursday and Friday of this week. Peppers’ availability for this weekend’s game, per Giants.com’s Michael Eisen, is “in doubt,” a sentiment that appears to be shared with Giants staff.

“Any time you have a player of Jabrill’s caliber that you have to replace, obviously it’s going to take a few guys to replace him, because he did a bunch of different jobs,” special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said of Peppers. “He meant a lot to our football team and he means a lot to our football team. That’s why he has a ‘C’ on his chest. It’s hard to replace that guy, but you just do the best you can, and the guys are going to step up. These young guys are going to step up and fill some of those roles and we’re going to keep plugging. We’ll see what happens. Those young guys will step up and they will do a good job.”

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Giants Thin at Safety

With the likely absence of Peppers on the backend of Big Blue’s defense this Sunday, the expected plan is to use a safety combination of Julian Love and Logan Ryan against the Rams.

By the sounds of it, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham sounds more than comfortable routing out the two hybrid playmakers at safety vs. Los Angeles.

“The good thing about those guys is they both can tackle,” Graham said of Love and Ryan. “There’s a willingness to be involved in the run game. They can still be interchangeable to a certain degree. The great benefit of it is the man-to-man coverage skills. Now you’re working with something right there. You’re dealing with the Rams, where these guys are all over the place. Their shift motioning, here goes the missile motion, and stuff like that. Now you have guys, (and you say), ‘oh, he can play this coverage, he can play that coverage.’ You feel a little bit more comfortable if you’re going with all the man stuff. It gives you some more flexibility with stuff like that. Not saying we couldn’t have done that with Pep or other guys. You’re talking about true cornerback skills, that’s a positive right there.”

The lone issue with Graham’s gameplan at the moment, Peppers isn’t the only safety dealing with an injury. Love (knee and ankle) and Adrian Colbert (quad) were both limited practice participants on Friday. Colbert’s injury has knocked him out of New York’s lineup since Week 1.