When Antrel Rolle went down with an ankle sprain at Giants; training camp on Monday, it sent shockwaves throughout the media. Here was a team that had trouble defending the run and the pass last season, and it might now be without one if its defensive leaders at the outset of 2013.
With Rolle's status for Week 1 in question and Jason Pierre-Paul yet to practice, Giants' fans are allowed to worry about the their defense heading into the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on September 8.
"Losing those types of guys, especially in training camp, is a big hit to our defense," said reserve cornerback Aaron Ross. "They're two great players that have really contributed to our defense so far."
Ross is one player who will have to step up his game if Rolle is forced to miss any regular season action. The Giants sometimes use a three-safety defense, but with depth at the position lacking, Ross could step in and play a role that he's not accustomed to.
"Wherever I need to play, that's where I'm going to be," said Ross who spent last season with the Jacksonville Jaguars before returning to the Giants in the offseason. "I'm more than excited to have a second opportunity to be here, so whatever the coaches need me to do, that's what I'm going to do."
The problem is that the Giants aren't exactly oozing with depth at cornerback either. That could force Ross to play multiple positions this season, especially if third-year man Tyler Sash and free agent David Caldwell aren't ready to fill the void left by Rolle.
At least there's more than a slim chance that Rolle will be back in time for Week 1. Rolle himself has expressed confidence that he'll be healthy in time for the regular season, and Ross says that he's walking the walk as well.
"He didn't really talk about his injury," said Ross/ "He just said he was alright. We see him walking around, so we know it's not that bad. That's something that him and the doctors have to discuss, so I'm just happy that he's alright."
The Giants have three more preseason games that they can use to get a good look at possible secondary options. The first of those is this upcoming Sunday night against the Indianapolis Colts.