NFL Nation: markus kuhn

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The news that New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and cornerbacks Trumaine McBride and Corey Webster are out for Sunday's game against the Redskins means the Giants will have to do some interesting juggling of their defensive lineup. Webster's injury doesn't sound like it matters much by now, as he's missed almost the whole year, but the Giants had been hoping he could practice enough to fill in for an injured McBride, who has become the starter in Webster's absence. He did not, and now the Giants are left with four healthy cornerbacks for Sunday's game -- Prince Amukamara, Terrell Thomas, Jayron Hosley and untested rookie Charles James.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said starting Hosley in McBride's place (and, presumably, leaving Thomas in the slot) would be a "strong consideration." Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said he thinks Hosley could handle it.

"Jayron has good cover skills," Fewell said. "I think he's a good matchup for some of the quick guys they have in their lineup. So I don't think we'll miss a beat from that standpoint, as far as the quickness and the matchups are concerned."

The issue may be one of depth, as the Giants have very little behind their starters right now if one of them gets hurt or if they decide to go into the kind of dime package that found safety Antrel Rolle overwhelmed in coverage on the Cowboys' final drive of the game Sunday. But the Redskins aren't as loaded with scary receiving threats as the Cowboys are. After top wideout Pierre Garcon, their No. 1 weapon in the receiving corps is rookie tight end Jordan Reed, who missed last week's game with a concussion and is questionable for Sunday.

Up front, where they will look to pressure Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III into the types of mistakes everyone watched him make Monday night against the 49ers, the Giants will obviously miss Pierre-Paul. They could move defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins out to play defensive end (and activate defensive tackle Markus Kuhn for the first time all year to spell Jenkins in the DT rotation), or they could imply increase the snap counts for defensive ends Mathias Kiwanuka or Damontre Moore. But Fewell doesn't think it's as simple as someone stepping into Pierre-Paul's spot.

"Theirs is a difficult offense for any defensive end, because it's a read-option offense, a play-action offense," Fewell said. "They do a number of different things to make the defensive ends think. So it's quite difficult."

The key for the 49ers against Griffin on Monday was their ability to invade the backfield quickly on seemingly every play. The Giants don't have the same kinds of players in their defensive front seven that the 49ers do. (Few teams do, if any, now that Aldon Smith is back in the lineup.) But they'll still need to find a way to get pressure and take some of the burden off their depleted secondary.

Giants' Canty out at least six games

August, 27, 2012
8/27/12
11:56
AM ET
NFL teams must reduce their rosters from the training camp size of 90 down to 75 by 4 p.m. ET today, so some folks are getting cut and some are being placed on injury lists. As part of their first round of cuts, the New York Giants announced that defensive tackle Chris Canty and tight end Travis Beckum will open the season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. The rules require players on that list to sit out at least the first six regular-season games, which means the soonest Canty could return would be Week 7 against Washington.

But the situation with Canty, who had knee surgery in the offseason and has not taken part in training camp practices or preseason games at all, is obviously more dire than the Giants initially indicated. By placing him on PUP, the Giants are obviously leaving open the possibility that he plays this year. But the situation with his knee and the fact that he won't be eligible until Week 7 obviously raises the possibility that he will have to miss the entire season.

Canty was an important player to the Super Bowl-winning Giants last season and they would suffer for his absence. Starting defensive tackles Linval Joseph and Rocky Bernard have played well this preseason, but that's a position at which quality depth is important. They'd been hoping veteran Shaun Rogers and second-year man Marvin Austin would help, but each of them has a severe injury and can't be counted on any time soon, if at all this season. Recent signee Marcus Thomas, rookie Markus Kuhn and Dwayne Hendricks are among those being counted on as part of the rotation at defensive tackle at this point.

Beckum's no surprise, as he was one of two Giants tight ends who tore his ACL in the Super Bowl and it would be a surprise if he played this year.

To get their roster to 75, the Giants also cut veteran cornerback Antwaun Molden and waived tight ends Ryan Purvis and Christian Hopkins, defensive tackles Carlton Powell and Oren Wilson, defensive backs Chris Horton, Brandon Bing and JoJo Nicolas, wide receivers Julian Talley and Brandon Collins, fullback Joe Martinek and tackle Joel Reinders.

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