*Five takeaways from Thursday's team practice and media hour: *
1. LEWIS NOW ELDER STATESMAN IN WR ROOM
In his 20-plus years of coaching, offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan has never seen five receivers enter a game and only one comes out. Last week against the Chargers, that lone player was Roger Lewis, who now leads a re-worked wide receiver corps with Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Dwayne Harris done for the year. Meanwhile, Sterling Shepard has yet to practice since injuring his ankle in the game.
"That's something else," Sullivan said. "[Lewis] goes from being the fourth or fifth guy, young guy, now he is the elder statesman. He's a versatile player. He's a guy that has made plays for us. Had a heck of a play the other day. He's smart and, of course, the versatility is something that we'll be relying upon to be able to move him around and help the other guys as well."
With 18 games played over two seasons, Lewis is the most experienced player in the room. He has 15 career catches, three of which were touchdowns, including a 29-yarder last week.
"It felt great with the touchdown catch," Lewis said. "But it's over with and I want to win. We lost that game and I want to get a win. I'm itching for a win right now."
2. INJURY REPORT
Did not practice: LB Jonathan Casillas (neck), S Landon Collins (ankle), RB Paul Perkins (ribs), C Weston Richburg (concussion), WR Sterling Shepard (ankle), DE Olivier Vernon (ankle)
Limited: DE Romeo Okwara (knee)
3. QUINN: RETURNER BY COMMITTEE
Before suffering a season-ending foot injury last week, Dwayne Harris was having his best game of the season as a returner, notching a 17-yarder on a punt as well as a 30-yarder on a kickoff. Just like at wide receiver, the Giants will turn to Ed Eagan and Travis Rudolph to bolster the return duties.
"[They] have done it for us in preseason, so you feel good, you know what to expect out of them," special teams coordinator Tom Quinn said. "Ball possession, ball security is obviously the number one thing. When you get a young guy in there, they get real anxious and it's just about who's going to catch the ball, possess the ball and then we go from there."
Just as important as filling Harris' void in the return game will be replacing him at gunner in punt coverage. Last year, Harris made his first Pro Bowl as a special teamer.
"That'll be a little bit of a committee," Quinn said. "We've got [cornerback] Ross [Cockrell] taking some reps out there, [cornerback] Donte [Deayon] is taking some reps, Roger Lewis. It's going to be a committee, it's not going to be just one guy. It'll be two or three guys that we'll roll through there, based on their playtime and based on the situation of the game."
4. RECEIVERS KEY TO DENVER'S RUN GAME
The Broncos have one of the best one-two punches in the league in wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, but they're not just effective in the passing game. They're a major reason why Denver enters with the No. 3 rushing offense, averaging 143.0 yards per game.
"Yeah, the offensive line is doing a great job of getting movement up front and creating seams for the running backs and they're making the right decisions and the receivers are blocking downfield," defensive tackle Damon Harrison said. "I would probably say they have the – once you watch film on everybody, their receivers, they're blocking more than usual. So they're able to spring the big runs."
5. DEAYON TAKES DRC'S SPOT
Today, the Giants officially designated cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as reserve/suspended. The suspension is without pay for an indefinite period. To fill his spot on the roster, the Giants promoted cornerback Donte Deayon from the practice squad. Deayon just missed out on making the 53-man roster this summer after an impressive preseason, which included a 36-yard interception return touchdown against the Jets.
Janoris Jenkins, a Pro Bowl selection a year ago, was asked about his confidence in the rest of the secondary.
"Man, just lead the guys. Just tell them to go out and play to the best of their ability," he said. "Give it all they've got. I'm with them 100 percent, whatever the situation or the outcome may be. But just let me know that you gave it your all."
A look at the playmakers of the Giants' upcoming opponent