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Nat Berhe gets chance to play with starters in preseason after Darian Thompson’s injury

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87)

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) runs with the ball against New York Giants strong safety Nat Berhe (29) and New York Giants defensive back Janoris Jenkins (20) during training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, NJ, on Sunday, Aug 14, 2016. Credit: Brad Penner

Rookie safety Darian Thompson injured his shoulder in Saturday’s preseason game and is considered “week-to-week,” according to the Giants. A source said the injury is not considered serious and Thompson should be back in time for the regular-season opener in Dallas on Sept. 11. He’s all but cemented his place as the starting free safety.

In the meantime, though, his absence for what will likely be the rest of the preseason gives backup Nat Berhe a chance to play with the starters.

“We all know this league is one play away from anybody getting in and playing,” Berhe said on Monday.

His one play came this weekend.

While he understands it’s unlikely he will usurp Thompson once the rookie is healthy enough to return, Berhe also knows the opportunity in front of him in the next two games. He’ll surely get the majority of playing time against the Jets in the third preseason game on Saturday when the starters traditionally stay on the field into the second half. And he’ll get a ton of reps in practice in the coming weeks.

For a third-year player who was penciled in as a starter last season but saw that opportunity pass him by because of a calf injury, getting another chance is welcome.

“I don’t want to count my eggs before they hatch,” Berhe said, noting that he has matured and become “more of a realist” in terms of his career. “I’ve always had confidence in myself. For me, opportunities are unlimited as long as you think they are.”

New York Sports