The Giants might soon need volunteers to play safety.
They were down to just three healthy players at the position after their 22-12 preseason victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in MetLife Stadium Saturday night. They had five safeties when the game began. But rookie free agent Justin Currie suffered a fractured ankle running down with the kickoff team. And late in the game, Bennett Jackson, who switched this spring from corner to safety, limped off with a sprained knee that will be evaluated on Sunday.**>> GIANTS VS. JAGUARS HIGHLIGHTS**
Three safeties did not suit up because of injuries: second-round draft choice Landon Collins (knee), Nat Berhe (calf) and Cooper Taylor (toe).
"It's amazing with the way that's going," coach Tom Coughlin said. "We earmarked it as a problem position for us with the safety position and we had two guys hurt tonight in that spot. Hopefully, we'll get a couple of guys back to practice that weren't able to play. It's just hard to even comment on."
The three safeties available at the end of the game were veteran Jeromy Miles (signed on July 15), rookie free
agent Justin Halley (signed Aug. 8) and two-time Pro Bowler Brandon Meriweather (signed last Sunday).
"I've never seen nothing like this," Meriweather said. "I'm actually trying to wait and find out now what happened to the two that we lost today."**>> INSTANT POSTGAME ANALYSIS**
Meriweather was asked if the injuries are forcing him to learn the defense faster than he thought he'd have to.
"This is the NFL. You need to get up to speed fast, period," he said. "I came in in the middle of training camp, the defense was already in. I've got to catch up. It's not that people got hurt that I need to get it faster. It's the fact that I got here late. Coaches can't slow down and re-teach me everything that the guys already know. So I've got to get up to speed on my own."POSTGAME NOTES
*The Giants' injuries were not limited to safeties. Three linebackers were hurt as well: Jon Beason and Tony Johnson with knee sprains and Mark Herzlich with a concussion
Jameel McClain, who missed last week's game with a neck injury, stepped in for Beason.
"You keep your head up and you just keep playing, that's the name of the game," McClain said. "It's unfortunate. Nobody wants to see either side get injured, but that's what football is. It's the next man up, 24/7. Guys stepped up and stepped into place, and the guys that got hurt, they'll be back. Lord willing, they'll get themselves right and they'll come back and we'll be a stronger team. You do get some strength by having people forced into roles automatically."
Five standout performers in the Giants second preseason game vs. Jaguars
*Coughlin won two replay challenges in the first half.
The first occurred on the Giants' opening offensive possession. A third-down pass that tight end Larry Donnell had in his hands and then lost was ruled incomplete. Coughlin challenged the ruling, claiming Donnell possessed the ball long enough for the catch to stand. After review, referee Fred Bryan reversed the call, giving the Giants a 13-yard gain and a first down. But the Giants couldn't capitalize and punted four plays later.
With 6:04 remaining in the second quarter, Jacksonville's Chad Henne threw a short pass that was ruled incomplete. Coughlin challenged the call, believing Henne had actually fumbled. Bryan looked at the play and agreed with Coughlin. Linebacker J.T. Thomas III, who played for the Jaguars last year, was credited with an eight-yard sack and Devon Kennard with a fumble recovery. The Giants turned the takeaway into Josh Brown's 43-yard field goal.
*Ryan Nassib saw the most extensive action of his career and completed 19 of 35 passes for 217 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown to Dwayne Harris.
*Orleans Darkwa led the Giants in rushing for the second week in a row, this time with 25 yards on six carries.
*James Jones had a game-high five receptions for 83 yards.
*Guard Adam Gettis sustained a stinger, but returned to the game.
*The Giants' game captains were Justin Pugh, Cullen Jenkins and Josh Brown.
*Fourteen Giants were not in uniform because of injuries: wide receivers Victor Cruz (calf), Rueben Randle (knee tendonitis) and Julian Talley (toe); cornerbacks Prince Amukamara (groin), Chykie Brown (knee), Jayron Hosley (concussion) and Chandler Fenner (hamstring); safeties Landon Collins (knee), Nat Berhe (calf) and Cooper Taylor (toe); linebacker Jonathan Casillas (neck); defensive end George Selvie (knee); and offensive linemen Will Beatty (PUP, pec) and Brandon Mosley (back).
Photos from Giants vs. Jaguars Preseason Week 2 at MetLife Stadium