New York Giants: 4 Injured Players Who Would Boost Big Blue's Defense
The once-dominant New York Giants defense has shown signs of mediocrity in 2012. It's allowed a disappointing 58 points in the team's first two games of the season.
The defense has recorded two sacks in each game this season, but the secondary is where the problem lies for the defending champs. Defensive backs have picked off just one pass thus far and have allowed huge gains to Kevin Ogletree, Miles Austin and Vincent Jackson.
Reinforcements are on the way, however. Injuries have played a huge role in the defense's miscues to kick off Big Blue's title defense, and the team will be receiving some help from its fallen soldiers in due time.
Let's go through some of the names that would bolster the depleted G-Men defense.
Adewale Ojomo proved this preseason that he can be a valuable piece to the New York Giants defensive front.
The undrafted free agent out of Miami recorded four sacks and 10 tackles during the team's exhibition season. Unfortunately for Ojomo and the Giants, the 6'4", 270-pounder injured his hamstring before Week 1 and hasn't seen the field since.
Ojomo was likely to make an immediate impact on special teams after making the Giants squad out of training camp then gradually work his way onto the Giants defensive line.
Ojomo's talent is still very raw, according to Sideline Scouting, but the same was said about sack specialist Jason Pierre-Paul around the time he was selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2010 draft.
Ojomo is still limited during practice, according to the Giants injury report released Tuesday. If he can return to the field Thursday in time to face Cam Newton and Carolina, it would mark the beginning of his journey to the Giants defensive core, which is already plenty deep as is.
After being drafted in the second round by the New York Giants in 2008, Terrell Thomas established himself as a dependable defender for Big Blue through his first three NFL seasons.
The problem is, Thomas hasn't played a down since his third season.
He missed all of the team's championship 2011 campaign after tearing his ACL in the Giants' preseason contest against the Chicago Bears. It was Thomas' second ACL tear, as he also suffered the injury as a USC Trojan in 2005.
On the third day of training camp this year, Thomas felt discomfort in that restructured knee. It would be the last time he'd step foot between the lines in 2012.
Despite the defensive back's confidence while rehabbing the knee (via ESPNNewYork.com), Thomas was placed on injured reserve prior to the start of the season and will be forced to sit out a second consecutive year.
Thomas' re-injury must've been all the more painful for general manager Jerry Reese, as he handed out a new three-year deal to Thomas before this season.
Hopefully Thomas will come back stronger in 2013, as the Giants will sorely miss his stability out wide this season.
Prince Amukamara is just over a year deep into his NFL career and has already missed 11 games due to injury.
After being drafted in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft by New York, Amukamara broke his foot just months later and missed the team's first nine games.
The Prince's sophomore NFL campaign is off to a similar start.
The former Nebraska Cornhusker suffered a dreaded high ankle sprain in the team's preseason bout against the Chicago Bears. This was especially damaging to the Giants secondary as it marked the second Big Blue corner to fall victim to injury before the season—after Terrell Thomas' 2011 re-run—and has forced the team to feature Michael Coe, Justin Tryon and Jayron Hosley at the cornerback position.
Amukamara has missed the team's first two games of 2012 and is still limited in practice as of September 18, via the Giants injury report.
The Giants are eagerly awaiting his return, as both Dallas and Tampa Bay have feasted on the Giants' weak secondary, even wearing out the usually reliable Corey Webster.
When the New York Giants traded for Keith Rivers last offseason, they didn't envision him spectating from the sidelines for the majority of 2012's beginning.
But that's precisely the situation.
Rivers played well in his Giants debut in Week 1 versus Dallas but in limited duty due to a hamstring injury that cost him snaps against the Cowboys and all of Week 2 versus Tampa Bay.
Rivers' injury has forced Mathias Kiwanuka into a more important role and put much more emphasis on the importance of Chase Blackburn manning the middle. Both have played well in two games this season, but Rivers' presence only strengthens the Big Blue defensive corps.
Rivers is still limited in practice, and it is unlikely he'll return to full health in this short week for the Giants. New York takes on Carolina Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium.
The fourth-year backer out of USC racked up a career-high 77 tackles in 15 games for the Bengals last year before being brought in by Jerry Reese to help the Giants in their title defense.