Facing the Bears without Alshon Jeffery, who is suspended, may sound like a break for the Giants. But defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said the absence of the Pro Bowl wide receiver may actually make it more difficult to defend them.

“When you have a Jeffery, as a quarterback, you tend to throw to him,” Spagnuolo said Thursday. “When you don’t have him, you tend to spread the ball. Jay Cutler is really good when he spreads the ball. I think we have to be careful. Just because an elite player isn’t playing for them doesn’t mean they’re going to miss a beat. The beat might go up.”

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Giant steps

Giants WR/KR Dwayne Harris (toe) and G Adam Gettis (calf) were limited Thursday after being designated as not participating in practice the day before. Justin Pugh (knee) will not play Sunday, and G Brett Jones (calf) missed a second straight practice, leaving the Giants thin on the offensive line . . . CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, limited against the Bengals by back stiffness, has not appeared on the injury report this week. “He looks OK right now,” Spagnuolo said.