On Tuesday, the day after the Giants lost cornerback Terrell Thomas to a season-ending knee injury, coach Tom Coughlin was asked about the possibility of moving Pro Bowl safety Antrel Rolle back to cornerback. It's the position Rolle played coming into the league, and although Coughlin said he was aware of Rolle's resume, he said he was "reluctant" to make that switch.
But in the face of desperation, reluctance has to take a back seat.
Rolle has spent some time lining up as a cornerback in practice this week. On Friday, at the Manhattan ceremony celebrating the naming of MetLife Stadium, Rolle confirmed that he indeed will be the Giants' nickel back. For now, anyway.
"I don't know what to expect for the rest of the season, but as for right now, that's the plan, to have me line up at the nickel position," he said. "I have no problem doing that. It's something I've been doing pretty much my entire career. It's just a matter of being on the same page at the same time with my teammates."
This will be different from the three-safety look the Giants employed last season. In that scheme, they moved a safety -- usually Rolle or Deon Grant -- into a linebacker spot and still had three coverage cornerbacks on the field. In this case, Rolle will be one of the cornerbacks, most likely covering the slot receiver. That would leave starters Corey Webster and Aaron Ross on the outside.
Rolle said he plans to shed about six pounds to be lighter and quicker so he can cover receivers one-on-one. But he said he's comfortable with the switch. He'll likely still be the starting safety in the base packages, but when opponents use three receivers, Rolle will come down in coverage.
"If they play nickel, then I'll be there," Rolle said. "I'm in great shape. I feel like I can take the field all day. I'm in good enough shape to play six quarters. It doesn't matter what it takes as long as we get the job done."
Bradshaw won't play
"I'm a little bit concerned about this lingering business, but it's not something that is a real issue, I'm told," Coughlin said. "He got banged in the back. It's like getting a hip pointer in the back . . . but I expect that he'll recover well."
Eli Manning and David Carr will handle most of the quarterbacking for the Giants against the Jets. Ryan Perrilloux could see a few snaps, but Sage Rosenfels will not play, according to Coughlin . . . The Giants have made hotel rooms available for players who may be evacuated from their homes because of Hurricane Irene. "Players without residences are still in the hotel," Coughlin said. "Other guys have been offered hotel rooms if something does take place and they have to get out of Hoboken or Edgewater or wherever."