COMMENTARY | It's the worst part of preseason football.
The New York Giants learned Sunday, August 25 that safety Stevie Brown is out for the season with an ACL injury. Brown was injured on an interception return late in the second quarter of the Giants' 24-21 overtime loss to the New York Jets on Saturday at MetLife Stadium.
The Giants were hoping Brown, who came out of nowhere in 2012 to lead the team with eight interceptions, would help improve a secondary that was ranked No. 28 against the pass. But his season-ending injury will lead to a change of plans. The Giants may be tempted to bring in a free agent -- incidentally, former Giants safety Kenny Phillips was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday -- but they have enough in-house talent to spell Brown.
Here are some candidates to replace him:
Ryan Mundy -- For what it's worth, Mundy is now listed as the starting free safety on the Giants' depth chart. According to Coughlin, he can play both safety positions, even though his hard-hitting style seems better suited for strong safety. Mundy, who is entering his fifth season, has been filling in for Antrel Rolle, who is sidelined with a sprained ankle. Rolle hopes to be ready for the start of the season.
Cooper Taylor -- Taylor is an intriguing blend of size and skill, but he's been sidelined for most of the preseason with a hamstring injury. Aside from being rusty, Coughlin generally doesn't roll with rookies. The fifth-round pick isn't even guaranteed a roster spot, so put him on the back-burner for now.
Tyler Sash -- Sash, the team's sixth-round pick in 2011, opened the preseason schedule with a bang. He sacked Landry Jones for a safety, recovered a fumbled punt and made four tackles against the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, the third-year pro hasn't done much in his previous two seasons with the team. Perhaps offseason surgery on both of his ankles has made a difference.
Will Hill -- Hill may have been a logical replacement for Brown, but his looming four-game suspension complicates matters. Remember, Hill has been suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. It's his second suspension since the Giants signed him as an undrafted free agent last season. Unfortunately, he's not the answer for the time being.
David Caldwell -- Caldwell is a bit of an unknown, but so was Brown before breaking out last year. I'm not saying Caldwell is the next Brown, but the undrafted second-year pro out of William & Mary is having a strong preseason, and his playing time has increased each game. Caldwell was a longshot to make the roster when camp opened, but his employment prospects are looking up now.
Terrell Thomas -- Thomas is listed as a cornerback on the team's depth chart, but there was speculation this offseason that the sixth-year pro would move to safety to reduce stress on his surgically repaired knee. The Giants may want to revisit that idea. Thomas, who at one time was a rising star in the team's secondary, played his first game in two years on Saturday and held his own.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer with more than 15 years of experience covering amateur and professional sports for several print and online media outlets. He tracked the New York Giants for Yahoo! Contributor Network during the team's Super Bowl run in 2011-12. Adam can be found on Twitter @Pegcitysports
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