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Cody Latimer's injury adds to Giants' wide receiver woes

Giants wide receiver Cody Latimer didn't practice Thursday

Giants wide receiver Cody Latimer didn't practice Thursday because of a calf injury.  Credit: AP/Michael Ainsworth

Another day, another Giants wide receiver to worry about.

Now it’s Cody Latimer, whose calf injury kept him from practicing on Thursday and could impact his participation in Sunday’s game against the Bills. It opens the possibility that the Giants could be without their top three receivers.

The Giants already will play without Golden Tate, who is suspended for the first four games. Sterling Shepard suffered a concussion in the opener, and while he is making progress — he stretched and went through some drills with the team on Thursday — he remains in the concussion protocol and must be cleared by an independent neurologist before he can play.

“I’m not sure of his availability, but we’ll see as the week progresses,” Pat Shurmur said of Shepard. “There are certain steps that he has to go through, and he still has a couple more to go.”

Shepard and Latimer are the projected starters. Behind them the Giants have Bennie Fowler, Russell Shepard, TJ Jones and Cody Core.

The Giants will issue their final injury report on Friday.

No panic from D

James Bettcher defined the difference between panic and urgency. “Someone that panics is all over the place, is sporadic, has no true answers,” the Giants’ defensive coordinator said on Thursday. “When you’re urgent, there’s an energetic, clearly directed course of action.”

So which one best describes his approach after his unit was battered and humiliated in last week’s 35-17 loss to the Cowboys?

“I won’t ever panic,” he said. “And nor will our players.”

They will have to improve, though, if they want to not worry about such distinctions moving forward. Some of that will come from personnel alterations. DeAndre Baker likely will get his first start at cornerback and Antonio Hamilton will play a backup role. Ryan Connelly is expected to start at inside linebacker in place of Tae Davis.

Bettcher lumped himself into the problem areas, too.

“There is no pointing fingers, there’s a lot of ownership and there is a lot of accountability in this group,” Bettcher said. “You identify things that were not good enough, whether it’s a bust in a coverage, a leverage, a missed tackle, a bad call by me, whatever those things are, and we work to correct them.”

Urgently. 

Giant steps

Shurmur’s tepid assessment of Bills QB Josh Allen from his pre-draft analysis a year ago — that Allen “could become a starter” in the NFL — reportedly found its way onto TV screens throughout the Bills’ training complex. Bulletin board material in a digital world...G Kevin Zeitler (shoulder) and LB Markus Golden (hip) were full participants in Thursday’s practice after being limited on Wednesday...Shurmur said it is “probably” too soon to know what the team has in LB Tuzar Skipper, claimed off waivers from the Steelers on Monday. “But there’s a very good chance that he’ll be up and going this week,” Shurmur said. “So, we’ll see quickly.”

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