Prince Amukamara doesn't dishearten easily.
For the second time in as many seasons as a Giant, Amukamara has suffered an injury. It's certainly not the start to his pro career that last year's first-round draft choice would have mapped out for himself. But the high ankle sprain he suffered Friday night in a preseason game against Chicago will not sideline him as long as his broken foot did last year. So Amukamara was upbeat and confident when he met today with reporters.
"I don't think it's frustrating at all," said Amukamara, who missed the first nine regular season games in 2011. "I'm not discouraged by any means. I'm thankful nothing's broken and it's all a part of football. You get banged up and I know the saying is you can't make the club in the tub. I've been in the tub pretty often, so I just have to hurry up and get out and do everything I can to help this team."
Tom Coughlin yesterday called Amukamara's sprain "moderate." The cornerback today said it's "mild."
"It's a mild high ankle sprain," said Amukamara, who became the starter on the right side soon after Terrell Thomas aggravated his knee injury. "They didn't tell me an expected time of recovery, but how I feel right now is a huge improvement than how I felt yesterday and after the game, so we're just taking it day by day."
The Giants conclude their preseason schedule Wednesday night at home vs. New England and open the regular season a week later vs. NFC East rival Dallas.
Michael Coe, who played most of the game Friday after Amukamara was carted off late in the first quarter – and who took numerous first-team snaps in training camp – will presumably start against the Patriots.
"I think the coaches prepare everybody to be a starter," Coe said. "We have a slogan, 'Always work like a champion.' Coach Pete (Giunta, the secondary/cornerbacks coach) always tells all the DBs to always prepare like a starter. You can't be shocked to be out there. You always have to prepare like that. Coach (Tom) Coughlin and all the staff prepare us well for that every week. I think all the guys out here, regardless of where you are on the depth chart, we prepare like a starter."
Coe missed the preseason victory over the Jets and some recent practice time with a hamstring injury, but said he is now recovered.
"I feel pretty good," he said. "I don't feel like I was all the way at 100 percent, but I was pretty good. Coach Pete wanted to work me out before the game, so we went out there and did a lot of drills to see how it felt. I felt really good, I pushed it a little bit so I could feel comfortable, and I felt pretty good, so I told coach that I wanted to give it a go. I went in there earlier than I thought I was going to, but everything worked out."
Amukamara was carted off the MetLife Stadium field Friday night with four minutes remaining in the first quarter after tackling wide receiver Brandon Marshall following an eight-yard gain. But he said he was injured on the previous play, a 19-yard end-around by Devin Hester.
"I kind of got rolled up when I was blocking Marshall and Corey (Webster) asked if I was good," Amukamara said. "I told him I'm not sure and he told me to go down, but I didn't want to go down on the field. I always stay a play after just to see how serious it was and then I guess the Bears heard me say that I was hurt so they tried to come after me the next play. So that wasn't smart and I just made a good tackle and then I stayed down.
"I felt something poking at the side of my leg and I definitely had a flashback of my fifth metatarsal last season, so I didn't know what was going on and then they brought out the cart. I think the cart was pretty dramatic, but they were taking precaution because they weren't sure."
Although high ankle sprains often don't heal in less than three weeks, Amukamara said he is not concerned about his potential time frame.
"Not at all," he said. "I rolled my ankle last week and it's actually the same foot and I played through it. Everything was fine. I feel pretty confident that I do recover quickly from ankle sprains. I used to play basketball and deal with them, but this one is different. It is a mild high ankle and I never experienced one like this. It's just something new and just with the trainers, hopefully I can get it taken care of."
*With Thomas, Amukamara and Jayron Hosley (turf toe) all sidelined, safety Will Hill has been seeing a lot of action at nickel corner.
"I'm listed as a safety, but I can play corner," Hill said. "I like playing nickel corner. I played it at Florida. It's a position that puts you in the middle of the action."
Hill is getting a crash course at the position by playing against one of the NFL's best slot receivers in Victor Cruz.
"That helps me," Hill said, "because he shows you new tricks every time you're out there."