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With Corey Webster missing part of the game with a broken hand, the Giants, again, had to rely on their third-and-fourth-stringers in the secondary.
The G-Men found themselves in a hole before the game even began, as backup-turned-starter Michael Coe was declared inactive with a bum hamstring.
Prince Amukamara was able to return from an ankle injury to make his season debut, which certainly helped Big Blue's depleted defensive backfield. Rookie Jayron Hosley showed improvement and picked off one pass, though it was later found that he tweaked a hamstring late in the game.
As if the injury situation couldn't get any worse for the Giants secondary, there was a scary incident halfway through the fourth quarter. Safety Antrel Rolle collided with a camera along the sideline and suffered a laceration to his left knee.
In his place, safety Will Hill logged two tackles and Stevie Brown intercepted a Cam Newton pass in the fourth quarter.
The combination of young defensive backs were able to lock down the Panthers receivers, and allowed no meaningful, substantial gains for deep threat Steve Smith.
A situation that was widely viewed as detrimental to the Giants defense has blossomed into an advantage for the defending champs. There has undoubtedly been growing pains from the young defenders early on, but developing depth is crucial in building a Super Bowl-winning squad, and the Giants are doing just that in 2012.
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