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Five Key Defensive Starters Miss Giants Practice: Fan's Take

Yahoo Contributor Network

The injuries are piling up for the New York Giants, who face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, October 7 at Met Life Stadium (1:00 p.m. EDT). Five key defensive starters sat out practice on Thursday (Oct. 4), putting their status up in the air for Sunday. Here's a look at who sat and what it means for Big Blue.

LB Michael Boley (LB) -- Boley's balky hip kept him out of practice on Thursday. He has been solid against the run and pass (team-leading three interceptions). Expect Boley to play, but Keith Rivers (hamstring) could see some extra snaps this week; he returned to practice on Thursday.

Rocky Bernard (DT) -- Bernard (quadriceps) is an overlooked but key member of the defensive line. He has 14 tackles and one sack so far this season. Without Bernard in the lineup to plug the run, rookie Trent Richardson (222 yards rushing) could give the Giants problems.

Corey Webster (CB) -- Webster played last week against the Philadelphia Eagles with a broken hand, but sat out practice on Thursday. His absence is most concerning, as he's been the most reliable player in the Giants' secondary since last season. If Webster's out, watch out for wide receiver Greg Little.

S Kenny Phillips (S) -- Phillips, who has a sprained MCL, may miss several games. Expect Stevie Brown, who subbed for Phillips against the Eagles, to see an expanded roll this weekend and beyond. The Giants could survive without Phillips, as long as the next guy in this list is ready for Sunday.

Antrel Rolle (S) -- It's both surprising and discouraging to see Rolle (knee) sit out of the latest team practice. He played every defensive snap against Philly and practiced on a limited bases earlier this week. Thus, his complete absence is alarming. Still, I'd be shocked if he didn't play on Sunday.

Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who proudly wears his Rodney Hampton jersey on Sundays during the football season. He grew up in Queens, N.Y. rooting for the Giants despite being surrounded by Jets fans. Adam follows back Giants fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.

Sources

New York Giants on Yahoo! Sports.

The Official Site of the New York Giants.

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