On the Falcons' opening drive of the second half, Chris Canty tipped Matt Ryan's pass straight up in the air, a makeable interception for anyone in the swarm of blue jerseys circling back to the ball.
The pass fell incomplete, but that's not the reason why every heart of the Giants faithful skipped a beat.
In the wake of the play, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and cornerback Aaron Ross didn't initially get up from the turf. After a brief injury timeout, both players – JPP first – were able to stand up and walk under their own power back to the sideline.
"Anytime you have players on the ground, your first thought is, I hope it is not serious," Tom Coughlin said after the 24-2 victory over Atlanta. "Fortunately, JPP was able to get up and go and I just saw Aaron Ross and he just counted fingers for me so I hope he will be alright."
Pierre-Paul said after the game he had the wind knocked out of him as he collided with Ross and Justin Tuck, who was also in on the play. Pierre-Paul would return and play the rest of the way, notching eight tackles on the day (two for losses).
"I was happy to see him open his eyes," Canty said of Pierre-Paul. "I was happy to see him get up, and then he started bouncing around. I said, alright, he's back to being JPP. So I'm just thankful it wasn't anything significant. I'm thankful for Aaron Ross for being able to get off the turf as well."
Ross, however, would not make it back due to a concussion (D.J. Ware also left the game for a concussion in an unrelated play). Primarily covering wide receiver Julio Jones, Ross had held him to four catches for 49 yards before the injury.
In his absence, rookie Prince Amukamara strapped up the rest of the game.
"Webby [Corey Webster] and Antrel [Rolle] and Deon [Grant] and Ross told me just play like the ball's coming at you, even if it's a run," Amukamara said. "Just always be alert, still be on my Ps and Qs and stick with guys downfield."
Jones, who trained with Amukamara in Arizona before the draft, caught three more passes, none of which were more than six yards for the fellow first-round pick.
"No corner likes to get a ball caught on him," said Amukamara. "Julio caught that little slant. But other than that, I think I'm making progress."
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