Cornerback Janoris Jenkins is hoping to be ready and healthy for Sunday's game against the Eagles:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.– For the second week in a row, the Giants might wait until just before game time before learning if one of their Pro Bowl players will be available to play in a game. Last week, it was Odell Beckham, Jr., who made his season debut Monday night against Detroit. Now it's cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who is listed as questionable for the Giants' game Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles in Lincoln Financial Field.
The Giants held their traditional Friday walkthrough today, and Jenkins' projected practice participation was limited. Jenkins did not practice yesterday, when the Giants held their longest and most demanding practice of the week.
"We didn't feel he was able to go with that type of load and that type of practice," coach Ben McAdoo said. "We'll take a look to see how he does tomorrow. We'll have a quick practice tomorrow and if he is able to do anything and have some productivity, we'll take a look at him on game day."
Three Giants players have been declared out of the game: tackle Bobby Hart (ankle), and linebackers B.J. Goodson (shin) and J.T. Thomas (groin).
Jenkins didn't play Monday against the Lions, but today sounded hopeful he will be in uniform in Philadelphia.
"It's noticeably improved over the last week," Jenkins said. "I got better, I've been getting better, just got to continue to go to treatment and see how it plays out."
Jenkins said he had an X-ray on Tuesday and an MRI Wednesday. He didn't provide specifics of the injury, but later posted on Instagram that he had received "good news."
"I didn't break anything, there's nothing out of place, that was the good news," he said. "And from then, I'm just moving on forward. (It's) just a little ankle injury. It's not anything crazy, nothing I'm too concerned about, it's just all about me being healthy out there on the field with my guys."
In Jenkins' absence vs. the Lions, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie played right corner in the regular defense, and moved inside in the sub packages, with Ross Cockrell taking over at cornerback. Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 15 of 21 passes, including two for touchdowns, but was held to a relatively modest 122 yards.
"We missed (Jenkins) like we miss any of our players not out there," defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said. "But when that happened, we had a plan. We knew if it didn't happen, we were going to go with guys we did. Ross jumped in there. I thought Ross did really well on plays downfield. He had some run support issues that we have to get ironed out. We talked about that. If he has to go again, he has to go again. We'll see on Sunday."
"You're losing somebody that's really great at playing man coverage, and he's really good at taking away the number one receiver," cornerback Eli Apple said of Jenkins. "That's a lot of production you're losing. But we know we've got guys that are able to step up and take his place and I think guys like Ross did a great job of doing that."
Apple, the Giants' first-round draft choice last year, said he can be the shutdown cornerback the Giants will need if Jenkins doesn't play.
"Definitely, most definitely," Apple said. "It's just about the little things. Just always trying to improve and get better, never taking any steps backwards, and that is something I'm really trying to harp on and be hard on myself about and just try every day to get better."
Apple was covering Marvin Jones, Jr. when the Detroit wide receiver caught Matthew Stafford's 27-yard pass for the game's first touchdown on Monday night. The young corner owned up to his errors on the play.
"In the red zone, you never want to be too high on a receiver, and that was the first mistake I made," he said. "I got too high on the touchdown, and I kind of just was thinking too much. I was thinking which way I was going to look, when I really should've just turned into the receiver and just try to play chest-to-chest. That's something we practice all the time, just something I didn't incorporate during that time. But that's something I've definitely been working on this week."
Spagnuolo stressed he still has a high level of confidence in Apple.
"I know Eli had the one play," Spagnuolo said. "He wants to play it better and get an incomplete and pick it off. Eli had five tackles, he had a quarterback hit. I can think of five or six times when they weren't able to throw the ball to his guy because he had him covered, and I'm talking about some man things that he did. So I think he's doing a solid job over there. Life of a corner, when they're going to throw it up there a couple of times, if they get one, you just have to be able to rebound and keep playing. I'm hopeful we can get Janoris back and do what we normally do, but Eli is doing a good job."
*When Hart reinjured his ankle in the first series vs. Detroit, Justin Pugh moved from left guard to replace him at right tackle, and Brett Jones played guard. McAdoo would not say if the Giants will keep that alignment.
"It's not who's the next best tackle, it's who's the best five," he said. "That's the question."
*Paul Perkins, the Giants' starting running back, has gained 26 yards on 14 carries, a 1.9-yard average.
"His average is not where I'm sure he likes or certainly where we like, and I'd say Paul is reflective of everybody that's touching the ball in the backfield," running backs coach Craig Johnson said. "At the end of the day, we are not playing at the level that we need to. We need to all pick it up. He needs to pick it up and so my challenge to our guys is don't worry about all the outside noise – what's happening with everywhere else or anything else. Handle the business that we can control. What we need to do when we touch it, is get consistency so we can make more first downs, so we have more chances to have more plays, and then we'll have a chance to run along with that."
*The Eagles declared four players out of the game: cornerback Ronald Darby (ankle), defensive tackle destiny Vaeao (wrist) and safeties Corey Graham and Jaylen Watkins, both with hamstrings.
Keep an eye on these five players as the Giants head to Philadelphia