Entering the fourth quarter of their season, the Giants find themselves somewhere between holding onto a slim playoff hope and building toward the future.
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Know Your Opponent: Chargers Jayron Hosley can factor into either scenario.
The second-year cornerback, who battled a hamstring injury for a good portion of the season, started opposite Prince Amukamara in Sunday night's victory over Washington. Playing his first significant number of snaps on defense since last season, Hosley had four tackles and broke up a pass as the Giants notched their fifth win in six games.
"It's been a while," Hosley said. "So it felt good to get out there contributing, back out on the field helping my team.
"Game speed and practice is two different things. I'm just getting back in the motion, getting that feel for the game, and just being out there with my team. I felt it a little bit the first series or two. Then once things started clicking, I got back in it."
With six starts as a rookie under his belt, Hosley entered his sophomore campaign with promise and experience. However, players with more of both remained ahead of him on the depth chart.
And when fellow cornerbacks Corey Webster and Aaron Ross went down with injuries, so did Hosley after Week 4. He missed his opportunity and the next five games while Trumaine McBride stepped in as the starting left cornerback until a groin injury called for Hosley to be the next man up.
In Washington, he was.
"Corners have been going down this year," said Hosley, who was the fifth different player to start at the position this season. "When one guy goes down, the next one has to step up. We pretty much were short last week at corner with Corey and McBride. It was one of those things one guy did go down and we were kind of pressed at that position. So I had to stick it out no matter what, and overall I think it was a pretty good performance for my first time coming back. It's definitely something to build from."
Coughlin assessed Hosley's performance Wednesday while Webster and McBride were limited in practice to begin the week.
"He did okay, he did," Coughlin said of the Giants' third-round draft choice in 2012. "We were just so fortunate to get him in the game and play and play well and stay in the game so I think that has helped a lot. I think this will help him."