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Lions' practice-squadder Mike Harris worth a nickel to Giants

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Mike Harris warms up before

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Mike Harris warms up before an NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla. Photo Credit: AP / John Raoux

Mike Harris already was at the airport when he found out he was being signed by the Giants. Only he wasn't heading to New York.

The defensive back was on his way home to Jacksonville to see his fiancée and his kids during what he thought was going to be his bye week as a Lions practice-squadder. Before he could get on that plane, though, he was a Giant.

"They were definitely happy," Harris told Newsday. "They wanted me home, but my wife is happier having me here than at home."

Harris may have been on the Lions' practice squad, but he's far from the prototype player with that status. He played two seasons with the Jaguars, appeared in 31 regular-season games with seven starts and has recorded 96 tackles (72 solo), a sack, an interception, five passes defensed and 11 special teams tackles.

What drew the Giants to him the most, though, was his ability to play in the slot as a nickel. That's a position where the Giants have been hit hard by injuries, first losing Walter Thurmond III to a pectoral injury and then Trumaine McBride to a thumb injury. Both are on injured reserve.

"That was one of the reasons I think they brought me here," Harris said. "They told me they lost a lot of guys and said that's the role I would be playing if needed."

The Giants put Jayron Hosley at the position and used some three-safety looks against the Cowboys, but there is a good chance Harris could be thrown right into the mix against the Colts. He could even be facing the dangerous T.Y. Hilton in the slot.

"It's a matter of knowing what you're doing and getting comfortable," Harris said of plunging into a new system. "It's definitely a quick turnaround so it has to happen fairly quickly, but I'm adjusting well. There's a little carryover from things I've done the last couple of years. I'll be perfectly fine."

He even gets to visit Jacksonville eventually. The Giants play there on Nov. 30, when he'll get to see his family. He doesn't get a bye week, but assuming he sticks around on the roster he will get an extra paycheck in the 2014 season.

"I'll definitely take that over the bye anytime," he said

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