Giants' depth to be tested vs. Browns

Updated: October 5, 2012, 3:45 PM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants' depth will certainly be tested on Sunday.

The injury-depleted Giants will be without safety Kenny Phillips (knee), defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (quadriceps), wide receiver Ramses Barden (concussion) and cornerback Jayron Hosley when they take on the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium, the team announced Friday.

Right tackle David Diehl (knee) and linebacker Keith Rivers (hamstring) are listed as doubtful. Linebacker Michael Boley (hip), safety Antrel Rolle (knee), right guard Chris Snee (hip) and cornerback Corey Webster (hand/hamstring) are listed as questionable.

Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (foot/knee) was ruled out for the third straight game on Thursday.

Coach Tom Coughlin said Nicks is "getting there, I think. Mentally he feels better, that's for sure."

Stevie Brown will start in place of Phillips, while second-year pro Marvin Austin and rookie Markus Kuhn are both expected to see an increase in snaps in place of Bernard.

Coughlin said the team could also use defensive end Justin Tuck on the interior if need be.

The Giants are seriously thin at receiver, given that both Barden and Nicks are out. Domenik Hixon will get the start opposite Victor Cruz, while Rueben Randle is expected to handle third wideout duties.

If Snee can't play, the Giants would likely start third-year veteran Mitch Pietrus in his place. Sean Locklear has been starting in place of Diehl for the last two weeks.

Coughlin would not say whether safety Tyler Sash, eligible to return after serving a four-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs, will be activated.

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