Most of the league came into this season having little idea what Tyrod Taylor would be able to do as a starting quarterback. Steve Spagnuolo, on the other hand, knew very well.

"I watched him for two years down in Baltimore give the Baltimore starting defense headaches every day," Spagnuolo said of the former Ravens backup who was behind Joe Flacco and ran the scout offense. "Especially on Friday when it was a red zone day. If he tucked it and put it in, he was getting in the end zone. It used to drive those guys nuts."

On Sunday, he'll be trying to make the Giants crazy. His ability to pass and throw makes him a challenge unlike any the Giants have faced this season.

"The best athlete I've seen on a football field," said Spagnuolo, a former Ravens assistant. "I watched him for two years and he was the best athlete on that team down there. He just had fun playing and now he's taken that into a starting role in Buffalo."

Spagnuolo said he even tried to recruit Taylor to play cornerback, but that never worked. He had no doubt Taylor could succeed as a starting quarterback if he found the right fit.

"It's obviously worked," he said of the marriage with the Bills. "I'm happy for him. I don't want him to do too good this Sunday, but I'm happy for him."

Injury issues

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Those hallelujahs about the Giants being healthy at the beginning of the week have faded. Not only was Victor Cruz unable to get to the team portion of Wednesday's workout, but Tom Coughlin said defensive end Robert Ayers Jr. had a setback with his hamstring in practice and he called left tackle Ereck Flowers "gimpy" because of his ankle injury.

Giant steps

TE Daniel Fells (ankle) missed a second straight practice but Coughlin remains convinced he will play against Buffalo . . . Special teams coordinator Tom Quinn said he would keep Rueben Randle on the "hands" team despite his misplaying of two onside kick attempts last week . . . Spagnuolo said there were some communication issues from rotating Jon Beason and Uani 'Unga at middle linebacker against Washington since only Beason wore a radio transmitter. He said the goal is to have Beason be the full-time starter and play 100 percent of the snaps, but quickly added that it was good to have 'Unga, who leads the team in tackles.