1) RB Andre Brown
– With Ahmad Bradshaw
day-to-day, there may be a void to fill against the Panthers just like there was for the majority of the Tampa Bay game last Sunday. Brown stepped into that role when Bradshaw went down in the second quarter and made the most of his opportunity, rushing 13 times for 71 yards and the game-winning touchdown. He also added two catches out of the backfield for 19 yards. Should Brown see the primary workload once again, he would do so in his home state, where he also played at North Carolina State. But we’ll wait to see the dosage he gets along with David Wilson
and even Da’Rel Scott, who has been inactive the first two weeks. Brown was asked on Monday if he thinks he earned more playing time moving forward.
“Depending on how Ahmad comes out and I will hope so,” Brown said. “But everybody has their role and I’m just going to continue to play my role in special teams or if they need me in there to run the ball, I’m going to be able to do it. Hopefully I did show that, but it’s a long season and we’ll just let it play out.” 2) WR Ramses Barden/WR Rueben Randle
– Going through the concussion protocol on a short week will make it especially tough for Domenik Hixon
to return to the field Thursday night. A hot topic over the offseason, the third wide receiver role could be there for Barden and Randle this week. Barden had his first reception against the Buccaneers – a 24-yard gain to open up the game-winning drive – while the rookie Randle hasn’t had a ball thrown his way, but he did assume punt return duties against Tampa Bay. 3) CB Jayron Hosley
– Hosley got the start last week in place of Prince Amukamara
, who is still working through an ankle injury and was limited in practice this week. Regardless of who gets the start, Hosley will see a lot of time, especially working in the nickel package.
“The game is not too big for Jayron,” defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. “That’s what I really like about him. He’s gotten better each week in practice. We’re asking him to do a lot. He plays on the inside sub package, he plays outside in the base package, and that’s a lot of mental gymnastics for him right now, and he’s been able to handle that so far. I think you’ll see him improve each and every week. I just like the way he focuses in practice as well as in games.” 4) LB Jacquian Williams
– Whenever a mobile quarterback comes up on the schedule, Jacquian Williams is there. That’s what the Giants face in back-to-back weeks against Cam Newton tomorrow and Michael Vick of the Eagles in Week 4. While he did beef up this offseason, Williams, a second-year linebacker, has the speed to contain speedy quarterbacks and proved he could do so last season. Williams has nine tackles this season, including six against Dallas.
“When we face a guy like Cam and a guy like Michael, you have to have 11 guys, not just the linebackers alone,” Fewell said. “But I do like our linebackers and the speed of our backers and the way that they can run 5) TE Martellus Bennett
– With a banged up receiving corps, the tight end becomes the proverbial safety blanket for Eli Manning
, whose chemistry with Bennett continues to grow. Bennett has found the end zone in both games this season (totaling nine catches for 112 yards) and has gained enough trust for Manning to throw to him in crunch time, like the 33-yard score against Tampa Bay to put the team ahead in the final four minutes of the game. It could be another big night for Bennett on the primetime stage.