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Injuries and Departures Leave Holes Giants Must Fill

Saturday night's game against the Jets is going to be focused on finding new roles for current players

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Hixon is one of many looking to grab a bigger role on the Giants.

    It's not easy to get worked up about the amount of injuries that the Giants have been dealing with since the start of training camp.

    After last season, it just seems like part of doing business. Unless Eli Manning or Jason Pierre-Paul should come down with something that knocks them out of the lineup, it's far more likely that the Giants will adapt and move on instead of falling to pieces.

    That doesn't mean the Giants know exactly who the players that will be moving into their new roles are going to be, which means that Saturday night's game against the Jets is going to be focused on finding those players. The questions start right up front.

    Will Beatty is still having back problems, which exasperates Tom Coughlin and leaves the Giants without an answer at either tackle position. James Brewer is also ailing, which could mean that veteran Sean Locklear and the unsinkable David Diehl could wind up filling the jobs.

    This game probably won't decide who goes where, but the Giants aren't going to wait around for the younger tackles to get healthy if Diehl and Locklear satisfy their cravings. We'll see how well they handle the Jets defense on Saturday night.

    Defensive tackle is an even messier spot than the offensive line thanks to the injuries to Chris Canty and Marvin Austin. Dwayne Hendricks looked very good last week and he'll get a long look against the Jets.

    Hakeem Nicks is still working his way back from a broken bone in his foot, but that's not the receiver spot the Giants are looking to fill. They need a third man to replace Mario Manningham.

    No one has emerged from the Domenik Hixon/Ramses Barden/Rueben Randle/Jerrel Jernigan group to grab the job, although the Giants have had nice things to say about all of them at various points this summer. Having four receivers for a spot is the same as having none, though, so it's high time someone stepped up into the role.

    And, finally, there's Prince Amukamara who starts at corner in place of Terrell Thomas. Amukamara looked bad against the Jaguars and hasn't lived up to his first round status since joining the team last season.

    The only problem with finding out what Amukamara can do is that the Jets don't have the passing game to really know if he's playing well. If he plays poorly, though, it will be obvious by the gyrations of Rex Ryan on the sideline.

    Preseason or not, that's not a sight the Giants want to see.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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