Twice in the past month a team has lost its kicker to injury early in a game and had to scramble to replace him. It happened to the Eagles and then the Chargers, both times against the Cowboys.
So what would take place if that happened to the Giants?
Special teams coordinator Tom Quinn said that if either punter Brad Wing or kicker Aldrick Rosas were unavailable during a game, the other would take over both duties.
It’s not a situation teams spend an awful lot of time preparing for. “You really try to manage the number of kicks they have, so you don’t want to add something,” Quinn said. “You do it every now and again.”
But given the current rash of instances in which it has come into play, the Giants’ specialists are more aware of the possibility.
“I think this year especially you want to be ready for anything,” Wing said. “You want to prepare if anything is thrown at you. That’s what we all do as specialists. I’m obviously a punter not a kicker, Aldrick is a kicker not a punter, and Zak is the snapper. We are prepared for anything but those are definitely, I would say, emergency situations.”
Wing said he thinks Rosas would do OK punting.
“He’s got a strong leg,” he said. “I think he’d be able to get it done.”
As for his own ability to kick an extra point or a field goal, Wing was less certain.
“I could,” he said. “Indoors. I think I could.”
The Giants also would have the option of going for the two-point conversion, assuming they actually scored a touchdown. And Wing does have some experience with kickoffs. With Pittsburgh in the Hall of Fame Game in 2015, he had to step in for an injured Scott Suisham. He handled the second-half kickoff – got it to the 2 or 3 yard line, he recalled, but on a bounce – and the Steelers did not score in the second half so there were no field goals or extra points.
“It worked out in my favor,” Wing said. “That was a nerve-wracking situation.”
As it would be were something to happen to one of the Giants specialists.
“Hopefully we don’t have to get in that situation, but there have been teams this year who have been,” Wing said. “It’s something that you just practice and keep in the back of your toolbox just in case.”
“It’s a tough situation to be in, whether you lose a snapper, a kicker or a punter,” Quinn said. “You don’t have the second-team guy usually on the roster.”
When it happened to them, the Eagles wound up using a linebacker, Kamu Grugier-Hill, to handle their kicking duties. The Giants, at one point this season, actually had a similar plan. Quinn said that if Rosas had been injured in a game earlier this year he would have turned to wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to handle the kickoffs and extra points.
“He’d probably kill me if I didn’t let him kick,” Quinn laughed. “But he can’t spin it before and kick it [like he does in practices]. He’d have to wait for it to be held.”