It’s been one strange and crazy season for Cooper Taylor.
The Giants safety was waived in October after an ugly loss to the Eagles. After spending several weeks looking for a new team, he was brought back to the Giants’ practice squad. He was added to the active roster Nov. 18 and now finds himself a part of the Giants’ three-man rotation at safety as they head into Sunday’s must-win game against the undefeated Carolina Panthers.
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“This isn’t how I planned for things to work out, but it gives you a minute to step back and get perspective on what’s going on,” Taylor, 25, said after practice Friday.
What’s going on is Taylor is coming off a Monday night game in which he was on the field for the most defensive snaps of his career. He had five tackles in that game, including one for a loss.
“Coop has kind of progressed pretty good,” defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said. “He doesn’t get a lot of reps in there. I remember back in ’07, when Corey Webster somewhere during the season was deactivated [but was] still on the roster. Sometimes that generates a little bit of energy and they come back and play with a little bit more inspiration, and Coop’s done that. I think he’s done a really good job, so that’s good to see, and it’s been helpful.
“He feels more comfortable. I thought I saw a more confident football player when he came back, I will say that. And I see him out there and now functioning really well, and that’s great to see. Love to see guys do that. It’s helpful.”
Taylor said he doesn’t think his play has changed all that much, but he believes he could be a bit more relaxed now.
“I think the biggest thing is it might have relieved some anxiety,’’ he said. “The worst thing that can happen to you in your football career is not knowing if you’re ever going to play again. If you get a second chance, it kind of takes a little bit of the edge off. Truthfully, I don’t see a whole lot of difference. I was given an opportunity to play and I want to keep showing what I can do.”
Notes & quotes: Three Giants starters — left tackle Ereck Flowers, wide receiver Dwayne Harris and linebacker J.T. Thomas — are officially listed as questionable but seem likely to play. Flowers, who injured his ankle two weeks ago against the Jets, started Monday night against the Dolphins but had to leave in the final quarter. Though he’s practiced on a limited basis this week, he told reporters Friday that he will play . . . Linebacker Devon Kennard, defensive tackle Markus Kuhn and defensive end George Selvie are out.