Photos of the Giants 2015 official roster
The Giants' injured reserve list expanded this week to 12 players with the latest of addition of running back Michael Cox, who suffered a fractured leg in Sunday's game against the Seahawks.
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Cox's season ended a week after cornerback Prince Amukamara's did, which came in the wake of the Giants losing middle linebacker Jon Beason in the game before.
For those reasons and others, the depth chart changed over the last few weeks as the Giants signed a handful of players to bolster those positions. But as coach Tom Coughlin said Wednesday, "This is our team. Guys have to step up."
With that in mind, here are five observations from the Giants' latest depth chart:
1. Newcomers find roles.
Since wide receiver Victor Cruz injured his knee and was placed on injured reserve a month ago, the Giants have added three cornerbacks, a wide receiver, and most recently, running back Orleans Darkwa to the active roster. Darkwa is listed fourth behind Rashad Jennings, who is hopeful to return this week against San Francisco, Andre Williams and Peyton Hillis, who is currently undergoing the concussion protocol and has not practiced. Meanwhile, newcomers Chandler Fenner and Mike Harris, in that order, are slotted behind Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie at left cornerback. Former Raven Chykie Brown is behind Zack Bowman and Jayron Hosley at right cornerback. The newest wide receiver, Kevin Ogletree, is on the third team.
2. Quintin Demps remains a starting safety opposite Antrel Rolle.
Demps took over the starting role in Week 4 and, since then, has five passes defensed, three interceptions and a forced fumble. However, Brown, who started the first three weeks, has seen his number of snaps increase over the Giants' four-game losing streak. The two split time in packages on Sunday, but Demps remains the primary safety opposite Rolle on the depth chart.
3. Devon Kennard is back to a first-team linebacker.
The rookie moved ahead of Mark Herzlich as the top strongside linebacker. The role is nothing new for Kennard as he has been in and out of the first team because of injuries to himself and Jon Beason, who is done for the season. In six games, Kennard has nine tackles.
4. Odell Beckham Jr. is the primary punt returner; Demps on kickoff.
Fellow wide receiver Rueben Randle has handled more of the punts the last two weeks, but Beckham, whose role in the offense continues to build, is still listed first on punt return. Meanwhile, Cox had been handling kickoffs since he was promoted to the active roster from the practice squad, but now that he is out for the rest of the season, the Giants have slotted Demps with Preston Parker behind him. But we'll see what the Giants do in the game as the team has used four different returners this season.
5. The next men up.
In addition to the season-ending injuries, the Giants began the week with eight players on the injury report. Four of them did not practice on Wednesday: Peyton Hillis (concussion), linebacker Jacquian Williams (concussion), defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (calf), and defensive end Damontre Moore (shoulder). While Jenkins returned in Sunday's game and Moore is expected to practice on Thursday, Coughlin didn't sound optimistic about Hillis and Williams, who are both under doctor supervision. On the depth chart, the Giants have Orleans Darkwa and Spencer Paysinger backing those two players up, respectively.