Excerpt: "It's not necessarily by choice, but if you look at the New York Giants' defensive line rotation in Sunday's game against the Eagles, you might see a couple of new -- and younger -- faces. Rookies Johnathan Hankins and Damontre Moore could be significant parts of the defensive game plan in Week 5.
Starting defensive tackles Linval Joseph and Cullen Jenkins missed practice Wednesday due to injuries. Backup Shaun Rogers also sat out with an injury. That led Giants coach Tom Coughlin to mention Hankins, the second-round draft pick who has been on the inactive list for each of the first four games, as a guy who could make his debut Sunday.
"I liked Hankins' work a week ago," Coughlin said. "I thought he was a really difficult guy for us to block in practice from an offensive standpoint, and I really felt like John was ready to contribute, and I feel the same way right now. I'm looking forward to watching him play."
Hankins has been healthy, but has been inactive every game due to the veteran depth the Giants have at defensive tackle. With injuries eating away at that depth, and having had an extra month to develop his NFL game in practice, it may be time for Hankins to show what he can do. Which is ...
"Stopping the run," Hankins said. "That's what they brought me here for. It's not going to be easy against Philadelphia. They have a great running back and a great quarterback who can run. But I am ready for the challenge."
Hankins has impressed his teammates in practice as well.
"Hank has done a good job out there in practice, and our confidence level in him is huge," defensive end Justin Tuck said. "He was a second-round draft pick for a reason, and I think he can get the job done." Read more...