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Steve Spagnuolo wary of Bears, even without Alshon Jeffery

New York Giants' defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo speaks

New York Giants' defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo speaks to the media during minicamp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, NJ, on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Credit: Brad Penner

Facing the Bears without Alshon Jeffery, who is suspended, may sound like a break for the Giants. But defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said the absence of the Pro Bowl wide receiver may actually make it more difficult to defend them.

“When you have a Jeffery, as a quarterback, you tend to throw to him,” Spagnuolo said Thursday. “When you don’t have him, you tend to spread the ball. Jay Cutler is really good when he spreads the ball. I think we have to be careful. Just because an elite player isn’t playing for them doesn’t mean they’re going to miss a beat. The beat might go up.”

Giant steps

Giants WR/KR Dwayne Harris (toe) and G Adam Gettis (calf) were limited Thursday after being designated as not participating in practice the day before. Justin Pugh (knee) will not play Sunday, and G Brett Jones (calf) missed a second straight practice, leaving the Giants thin on the offensive line . . . CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, limited against the Bengals by back stiffness, has not appeared on the injury report this week. “He looks OK right now,” Spagnuolo said.

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