CINCINNATI – The Giants' secondary was a hazardous place to be Friday night.
Four defensive backs were hurt in the team's 23-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the preseason opener for both teams. The injured included two cornerbacks and the two safeties the Giants drafted this year. And starting cornerback Prince Amukamara has been sidelined with a groin injury.
Rookie safety Mykkle Thompson, the team's fifth-round draft choice, appeared to be the most seriously hurt after suffering an Achilles tendon injury during a Giants punt with 14:14 left in the second quarter. Asked if there's a concern that the tendon is ruptured or torn, Coughlin said, "big concern, yeah."
Another safety, second-round draft choice Landon Collins, left the game early with a knee injury. X-rays were negative and he returned to the bench area in shorts.
"I went for a tackle, and my teammate landed on top of my leg and just turned my leg inside," Collins said. "It's not bad at all. I mean, I can turn it. They checked it, it's fine. Just to be sure, we're going to get the MRI and see what it says, and how we're going to treat it.
"(I think it will be) short-term. I did this before in college one time, so it'll be a short-term thing. I was back from the injury in a week's time."
Cornerback Trumaine McBride was unable to continue after sustaining a hamstring injury. Another corner, Jayron Hosley, who started in place of Amukamara, was examined for head and neck issues, according to Coughlin.
Bennett Jackson, Jeromy Miles and Cooper Taylor split most of the snaps at safety after Collins and Thompson left the game. Late in the game, rookie free agents Justin Currie and Justin Halley played.
*The Giants' top three running backs are Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams and Shane Vereen, but second-year pro Orleans Darkwa is doing what he can to make it a foursome. Against the Bengals, he led the Giants with 52 rushing yards on nine carries, his 20-yard run was the team's longest, and he scored the Giants' only touchdown, diving over the pile from a yard out in the second quarter.
"I feel like I did a good job," said Darkwa, who played in seven games last season after joining the Giants on Nov. 12. "Obviously, there's room for improvement on everything, even the small things that the
media might not be able to pick up on. I think I did a good job, but obviously, just got to improve as much as possible.
"I know special teams is going to be a big factor (concerning his standing on the roster), so I'm never going to lose sight of that. Also, I feel like as far as being able to join that (running back) rotation, I feel like I'm capable of doing it and that's what I'm here to show."
*Akeem Hunt, a rookie free agent running back from Purdue, returned the game's second kickoff 70 yards to the Bengals' 35-yard line. He also ran for 18 yards on three carries.
"He did help," Coughlin said. "Obviously, the kickoff return, a couple of nice runs. That's what I was looking for, was the kickoff return. I was glad to see it. I'd have to look and see why it didn't go all the way, it looked like it was going to go for a second."
*Cornerback Trevin Wade, a fourth-year pro from Arizona, also made a big play, intercepting a Keith Wenning pass and returning it 61 yards in the fourth quarter. Wade also had two solo tackles and kocked down two other passes.
"It was just zero coverage, and we were blitzing," Wade said of the interception. "I just didn't want my guy to catch it. I saw him go inside, and I saw the ball and it was my chance to undercut it."
Wade is one of several cornerbacks fighting for a roster spot.
"I'm pretty happy with it (his performance)," Wade said. "There's always room to improve, so we're going to go back and I'm going to watch the film, and I'm going to see how I can be better."
*First-round draft choice Ereck Flowers played the first four series at left tackle. His facemask penalty nullified a six-yard run by Rashad Jennings.
"I'm sure there's some things that he's definitely going to be able to improve on," Coughlin said. "But we got him out there and got him a number of snaps in the game for him. That's good experience for him. He'll play probably a little more than some of the others in the preseason, because that's what he needs."
*Odell Beckham played in his first career preseason game, but did not catch a pass.
*The Giants had two sacks, one split between Damontre Moore and Cullen Jenkins, and the other by rookie free agent Carlif Taylor.
*Defensive end Kerry Wynn and Bennett Jackson each had a team-high six tackles (five solo).
Sideline Photos From Giants vs. Bengals (8/14)
*The following Giants did not play: cornerbacks Amukamara (groin) and Chykie Brown (knee); safety Nat Berhe (calf); linebacker Jameel McClain (neck); guard Geoff Schwartz (ankle), wide receiver Victor Cruz; and tackle Will Beatty (PUP, Pec).
*The Giants' game captains were Preston Parker, Mark Herzlich and Markus Kuhn.