New York Giants Training Camp: 3 Lingering Questions

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistAugust 8, 2012

New York Giants Training Camp: 3 Lingering Questions

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    Things are about to get crazy in the NFC East. We've got three preseason games Thursday and Friday and a ton of story lines to cover. So before teams put a temporary pause on their camps to focus on their preseason debuts, let's take a look at three questions that we're still asking in each training camp. Earlier we looked at the Cowboys. Next up, alphabetically: the New York Giants.

Question 1: What Will the Cornerback Pecking Order Look Like?

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    The Giants probably didn't expect to have an answer to this question so early in August, but things became a little more complicated when Terrell Thomas' surgically repaired knee suffered a setback right as camp was getting underway.

    That increased the pressure on Prince Amukamara, who struggled in limited action as a rookie and has been plagued by a lingering foot issue for about a calendar year. The team's top pick in 2011 has looked good thus far in camp, and is almost certain to start opposite Corey Webster throughout the preseason. 

    The Giants also seem to like what they're getting from veteran Michael Coe, who for now is the No. 3 guy. With rookie Jayron Hosley virtually guaranteed a roster spot, that doesn't leave a lot of room for guys like Justin Tryon, Brandon Bing, Antwaun Molden and Dante Hughes.

    So there's a blueprint in pencil, but there's a lot of room for movement. And until we know how long Thomas will be out, the cornerback position will be in flux. 

Question 2: Can Will Beatty Be Relied Upon to Protect Eli Manning's Blind Side?

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    That's still the plan, and the Giants don't appear to be in panic mode. But Will Beatty is once again being handcuffed by injury issues. The former second-round pick missed the second half of his first season as the team's starting left tackle due to a serious eye injury, and now his back is giving him trouble.

    Beatty had an MRI on Saturday and hasn't practiced this week. He says he's going to be fine (via New York Post), but the Giants are being cautious. 

    The concern regarding Beatty goes beyond injuries, though. He was inconsistent when healthy last year, and there are no proven options behind him on the depth chart. The Giants need badly for someone to step up and become a stud on that offensive line, because Eli Manning was under pressure far too often last season. 

Question 3: When Will Hakeem Nicks Return?

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    Here's what we do know: Barring a hard charge from a receiver who has yet to charge, Domenik Hixon is Hakeem Nicks' temporary replacement.

    We're still waiting for Nicks to return from a broken foot. The fourth-year wideout does appear to be progressing on schedule, which means he's still on track to return Week 1, but it's very difficult to project rehab stages when it comes to receivers and their feet.

    So in contrast to the first two questions in this post, this one is quite literal. The Giants don't know when exactly their top receiver will be back in the lineup, and that's scary.

    It's scary because while Hixon is experienced and talented, he's torn his ACL in back-to-back seasons. We don't know that he can stay healthy, and even if he does, we don't know how he'll look in game action. 

    Jerrel Jernigan's looked good in camp and there are high expectations for rookie Rueben Randle. Youngsters Brandon Collins and David Douglas are possibilities, too, but the Giants would obviously prefer to have someone with a stronger professional résumé getting these important reps as the season approaches.