New York Giants: brandon flowers

KANSAS CITY -- No big surprises on the New York Giants' inactives list for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Four of the seven -- cornerback Corey Webster, center David Baas, right guard Chris Snee and tight end Adrien Robinson -- had already been ruled out for the game and didn't fly here with the team.

The other three inactives are third quarterback Ryan Nassib, rookie defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (who has been inactive for all four games so far) and safety Cooper Taylor, who suffered a shoulder injury last week in Carolina. Without Taylor, the only two active safeties for the Giants this week are starters Antrel Rolle and Ryan Mundy.

It's possible that cornerback Terrell Thomas could work some at safety if they need him to. He has said he knows the plays and has some experience there. The Giants have been using Thomas as a nickel cornerback this year, but the need for that position may not be as great in this game as it was against teams like the Cowboys and Broncos, who lean hard to three-receiver sets.

The Giants announced that Jim Cordle would get his first career NFL start as he replaces Baas at center. Cordle struggled in a preseason start at center against the Jets. James Brewer, who started at left guard in the season opener when Kevin Boothe slid over to play center, will start at right guard in place of Snee.

Veteran offensive lineman David Diehl, who missed the first three games of the season following thumb surgery, is active but is not listed as a starter. It's possible they could use Diehl as a second tight end in "big" short-yardage or goal-line packages, or that he's an emergency plan in case of an injury to one of the starting tackles, but it remains unclear to what extent he can help with his thumb still not fully healed and since he missed five weeks of practice prior to last week.

A lot of people ask about Hankins, who was the team's second-round pick. I don't think there's any reason other than the depth chart that he continues to be inactive for the games. The Giants have been happy with what Shaun Rogers and Mike Patterson have done at the backup defensive tackle spots, and there's no need for them to carry five at that position on gameday. Hankins is still developing his technique and his lower-body strength, and the Giants can carry a developmental player at defensive tackle right now.

One bit of potential good news for the Giants is that Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers is inactive due to a knee injury, which should help the Giants' receivers get open down the field. Of course, many of you may remember that last week in Carolina, the Panthers were missing three members of their starting secondary and none of the Giants receivers had a chance to get open because Eli Manning was getting sacked immediately on every play.

Big Blue Morning: Trying to regroup

September, 24, 2013
Your daily morning check-in on news and notes about and of interest to the New York Giants

The news of the day: On a day when Giants coach Tom Coughlin said he challenged his 0-3 team's pride, the Giants sent two of their struggling starting offensive linemen for MRIs. Center David Baas (neck) and guard Chris Snee (hip) were getting checked out Monday and it's possible the Giants will have to do some shuffling of the offensive line for Sunday's game in Kansas City. That might not be a bad thing, given the way the line played in Sunday's loss in Carolina, but there's not a lot that can be done. It's possible they could hurry David Diehl back from his thumb injury to contribute at guard or right tackle, but it's unclear at this point whether he's close to being ready, since he hasn't practiced since suffering the injury in Week 2 of the preseason. It's possible they could try James Brewer again, either at guard or tackle. Brewer played left guard in the season opener. It's possible the Giants could shuffle the line even if Baas and Snee are healthy enough to go. There's no one from outside the organization who's about to ride in and save the day, so they need to solve the puzzle with the pieces they have.

Behind enemy lines: I know you've heard this before (cough ... last week ... cough), but the Giants' opponent Sunday is a bit banged-up in the secondary. Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers injured his knee in the team's victory over Philadelphia on Thursday and has not been practicing. Which means, if the Giants could keep Eli Manning on his feet Sunday, he might be able to find some open receivers. Again, heard this before, right?

Around the division: The Philadelphia Eagles get the Manning brothers the next two weeks, as Peyton Manning and the Broncos host them Sunday and they travel to New Jersey to take on Eli Manning and the Giants a week later. Anyone who watched the elder Manning take apart the Raiders on Monday night knows the Eagles' struggling defense is going to have its work cut out for it this week.

Around the league: This Insider piece from Mike Sando attempts to answer the question, "Which 0-3 teams can make the playoffs?" The Giants are of course one of the ones mentioned, as are the division-rival Redskins and the Steelers, each of whom is also 0-3. Mike's optimism on the Giants (and the Redskins), such as it is, boils down basically to a lack of faith in the Cowboys as the type of team that can run away with the NFC East. Which is fair, given the Cowboys' history. But what we've seen so far in September indicates that they very well could do just that.