The Giants' secondary issues are mounting, and the injury to safety Stevie Brown is nothing less than a huge blow.
Brown, a superb find last season with eight interceptions, snagged another Saturday night from Jets quarterback Geno Smith, but Brown went down at the end of the return on a non-contact play as the Giants feared the worst.
Sunday their fears were confirmed: Brown tore his ACL and will miss the 2013 season.
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was resolute in his belief that the team will find a way to fill Brown's absence.
Coughlin says "I feel badly for him'' about Stevie Brown. "We'll definitely miss him. But we'll continue, that's what we do.'' #nyg
— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) August 25, 2013
But the Giants have been plagued by injuries and ineffectiveness on the back half of the defense heading into this season. Corner Corey Webster is coming off a down season. Antrel Rolle and Webster have been hurt, too, although Coughlin expected both to return to practice this week.
Terrell Thomas got about 20 snaps in the Jets game in his bid to return from two serious knee injuries the past two seasons, but second-year corner Jayron Hosley (sprained ankle) also was hurt Saturday, which could keep him out a few days.
Brown is not irreplaceable, but who can step up in his place? Coughlin thinks ex-Steeler Ryan Mundy can step into the starting role and mentioned wanting to see more of rookie Cooper Taylor, a fifth-rounder from Richmond with unusual size (6-4, 225 pounds) for the position.
Something to keep in mind when pondering these troubles: Brown was a former seventh-rounder and a Raiders castoff whom the Giants found off the street. If there's a front office that can a proven track record of finding unexpected contributors, it's the Giants', led by GM Jerry Reese.