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Giants' secondary poses challenge, Texans coach says

Giants cornerback Eli Apple breaks up a pass

Giants cornerback Eli Apple breaks up a pass meant for Jaguars wide receiver Donte Moncrief at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 9, 2018. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

It’s not yet clear if the Giants will have Eli Apple available on Sunday. The starting cornerback suffered a groin injury on Sunday and did not finish the game against the Cowboys.

But even if he can make it back to the field and face the Texans, there’s a good chance the secondary will look at least a little bit different from how it did in the first two games. That’s because this week, instead of facing premier running backs such as Leonard Fournette and Ezekiel Elliott, the Giants are sure to be more focused on containing dangerous wide receivers such as DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller.

That, Texans coach Bill O’Brien said, makes it difficult to study tape of the Giants’ defense.

“You have to go on what you’re seeing right now, but you also have to try to think about how they would look at your offense,” O’Brien said on a Tuesday conference call. “It’s still early in the season so a lot of those things we’ll have to figure out. When the game begins and as the game goes on we’ll have to adjust to how we believe they’re playing us.”

O’Brien had praise for the Giants’ secondary.

“Eli [Apple], a very good player, we’ll see what happens with his groin injury,” he said. “Janoris Jenkins, very good in match coverage, a guy who can run and has the ability to play different techniques on receivers that makes it difficult. Landon Collins, a really, really good, tough safety who does a lot of good things for their team.”

He even mentioned B.W. Webb in the nickel as a “very quick, smart player.” If Apple can’t play, the Giants likely will move Webb to the outside and have someone else – Donte Deayon perhaps – on the inside. That was the adjustment they made in Dallas, anyway.

“I think the secondary,” O’Brien said, “it’s a big challenge for us.”

And the Texans’ receivers will be a big challenge for them, which is why there could be a new look to the back end of the Giants’ defense this week.

New York Sports