Skip to main content
New York Giants Website

Giants News | New York Giants –

Rookies Cor'Dale Flott, Dane Belton ready for opportunity


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Cor'Dale Flott played two snaps in his NFL debut last week in Tennessee.

That was two more than the workload of Dane Belton, who was inactive for the game.

But when the Giants host the Carolina Panthers in their first 2022 home game, the two rookie defensive backs could get an opportunity to make important contributions.

Flott will likely see action and could start at cornerback for Aaron Robinson, who is sidelined after undergoing an appendectomy earlier this week. Belton is practicing fully for the first time since fracturing his collarbone after intercepting a pass on July 30 in a training camp practice.

"The opportunity. I was definitely excited about it," Flott said. "I'm prepared for it, and I feel like I'm ready to step up."

Flott, out of LSU, was the Giants' third-round choice in the 2022 NFL Draft, the 81st overall selection. He suffered a groin injury in the preseason opener and missed the second game but is now healthy. Though his two snaps in the Giants' victory in Tennessee were on special teams, he is confident he can play well on defense if called upon.

"Preparation, that's the biggest thing," he said. "It gives you confidence in how you prepare before games, watching film and keeping your body healthy. So, that's the biggest thing. Whenever my name's called, I'll be ready to step up."

Belton was a fourth-round draft choice from Iowa, No. 114 overall. He immediately impressed the coaches in the spring, but his injury sidelined him for the entire preseason.

"Right when I got hurt, they told me a timeline, six to eight (weeks), so I did everything I could to come back in six," said Belton, a full practice participant for the second day in a row. "Exactly six weeks and a day was the first game so, that was my mentality. Just getting back up to strength with my shoulder and my collarbone. It got to the week before, I was like five and a half, I got a CT-scan and they were like, 'You look good, but we might keep you out of this first game just to be safe.' Once they told me that, I knew week two was a possibility, so my thought was just toward that week."

Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale is excited to welcome back Belton.

"I think he's physical," Martindale said. "I think he's fast. I think he knows the system. We just got to knock the rust off of him. So, we'll see how he feels when he's out there, and we'll just slowly build with him."

View photos from practice as the New York Giants gear up for the home opener against the Carolina Panthers.

*The most publicized member of the Giants' 2022 draft class also hopes to return soon. Outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux - the No. 5 overall selection - has not played since spraining his medial collateral ligament in a preseason game vs. Cincinnati on Aug. 21. He has been limited in practice this week.

He was asked if it's "unlikely" he will suit up Sunday against the Panthers.

"I wouldn't call it unlikely," he said. "We're still playing it, I just want to make sure. We want to cross our T's and dot our I's before I get back out there.

"Just trying to tolerate the pain and make sure I don't do too much and reaggravate it. Make sure I really do everything in my capacity and just continue to try to push that envelope."

Thibodeaux is pleased with the progress he's made since suffering the injury.

"It feels a lot better," he said. "I've just been making really good gains every day. Just continuing to kind of bring back those reps, a different kind of motion and getting comfortable back in my position."

What hurdle must he clear to return to game action?

"Just being able to be safe in uncontrolled circumstances," he said. "The thing about injuries – it's one thing when it's a controlled situation and you're just working out, but once you start going against guys, you can't really control the variables. That's when you see how strong you really are."

*Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka was asked to recite the background on the game-winning two-point shovel pass to Saquon Barkley in last week's 21-20 victory in Tennessee.

"As a staff, we get together and put it all together and come up with ideas, creative ideas," Kafka said. "There's things that we really like and maybe we don't use them this week or last week that we carry over or there's things that we really like that we want to call for that week versus that specific defense. They were pretty unique that way. When you really look at the tape, they played it well. Saquon just made a great play to finish it."

*Four Giants did not practice today: Defensive backs Aaron Robinson (appendicitis) and Nick McCloud (hamstring), wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson (knee) and offensive lineman Devery Hamilton (illness).

*Five players were limited, including wide receiver Kadarius Toney (hamstring), who was added to the injury report. The others were Thibodeaux, defensive end Azeez Ojulari (calf), center Jon Feliciano (lower leg) and defensive back Jason Pinnock (shoulder).

View rare photos of the history between the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers.