The Giants believe they can take advantage of a rejiggered and inexperienced Packers secondary on Sunday.
“Of course,” Victor Cruz said on Wednesday when asked if he and his fellow receivers have noticed and can exploit the injuries to Green Bay cornerbacks. “Any time guys are playing a position that they aren’t necessarily used to, it’s definitely something that you want to look at to get a leg up on the opponent.”
Cornerbacks Damarious Randall (knee), Quinton Rollins (neck) and rookie Makinton Dorleant (knee) all left Sunday’s game against the Lions with injuries. That forced safety Micah Hyde to move to cornerback, and while he did wind up with an interception from that position against the Lions, the Giants believe that it is a weakness.
“That’s obviously the plan,” Odell Beckham Jr. said of attacking the secondary. “It’s about finding the best matchup that you think you have and going at it.”
That matchup will likely be against a cornerback who is not used to playing cornerback. Or someone not used to playing in the NFL. The Packers put Dorleant on IR on Wednesday and promoted cornerback Herb Waters from the practice squad. Waters was a receiver in college at the University of Miami and in the preseason with the Packers but made the change to corner when the Packers’ depth at the position started to dwindle early in the regular season.
As for Rollins, he did not practice while in the concussion protocol. Coach Mike McCarthy said Randall was scheduled to participate in Wednesday’s practice.
“We just see, due to some injuries, some guys that aren’t playing their natural position,” Cruz said. “Just some guys that are trying to figure it out and get through games. Get through in a sound way. Get through their defense and make plays. Obviously we see that. As an offense, we want to do some things to combat that, and make sure that we are prepared for whatever they throw at us and whatever guys cover us that we are able to win our one-on-one battle.”
It doesn’t guarantee success. But it certainly seems to be an advantage.
“Those guys get paid to play too, so we understand that,” Cruz said. “We just want to be able to pick our spots and be successful.”