The protocol is out the window.
“With the Giants, it’s usually the next man who steps up,” cornerback Prince Amukamara said of the philosophy whenever a starting player is unavailable, “but in this case, it’s pretty hard because of who it is.”
It is Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who will sit out Sunday night’s game against the Vikings while serving a one-game suspension for a series of illegal hits he delivered in last week’s game against the Panthers. So the next man up actually might have to be the next men up, as the Giants do not have a single player who can produce at Beckham’s level.
“Rueben comes to mind,” Tom Coughlin said Thursday when asked about replacing the star. “ Harris has made plays for us in the past. Hakeem has made great catches for us in the past. Obviously, the opportunity is going to be there for everybody to contribute. Will Tye has made some nice plays for us. Coming out of the backfield, Shane has done a nice job. Myles is going to work in there again today, and we’ll see as we go along.”
Harris is questionable with a shoulder injury but has practiced the last two days and likely will play. The Giants need him more than ever, even if the receivers are downplaying Beckham’s absence.
“Odell was one piece of the puzzle,” Harris said. “We have other guys who can play football, too.”
DE Markus Kuhn (knee) and LB James Morris (quadriceps) were placed on injured reserve Friday. The Giants promoted DE Brad Bars and TE Matt LaCosse, giving them three players on the active roster going into tomorrow who began the week on the practice squad. Earlier in the week, WR Ben Edwards was promoted to fill the vacancy left by Beckham, who does not count against the 53-man roster while suspended . . . LB Devon Kennard (foot) has been ruled out and will miss his fourth straight game. Coughlin suggested Kennard will not be ready to play before the end of the regular season next week, but if the Giants somehow make the playoffs, he might be able to get back on the field. “There’s always hope,” Coughlin said. “That’s why we’re keeping him on the roster.”