If the Giants begin their game Sunday in Minnesota in their base defense, number 52 will take the field. Should they open in a nickel defense against the NFL's top-rated offense, Nick Greisen will get the start.
Coach Tom Coughlin announced today that Green and Greisen will split time at the position. The job was Green's until he reported late for work on October 13, one of the two days the Giants practiced during the bye week. Greisen made his first start of the season, and the second of his career, in last week's loss to Detroit. He was credited with seven tackles (four solo), including one for a loss, and had a sack taken away because of a Carlos Emmons penalty for illegal use of hands. Green played only on special teams, where he had one assisted tackle.
Rather than hand the job to one player, Coughlin will split it. Coughlin said the decision is based solely on football ability and not any carryover from the Green incident.
"They will both play in each other's positions on those respective teams (base and nickel defense)," Coughlin said. "So hopefully we are going to have the best of both worlds.
"Nick played well in those situations the other day. He seems to have a good grasp, a good savvy for that. You saw him drop a ball in coverage. I saw him in the spring display really good hands. He did a good job the other day with the tackle for a loss and did have a sack that was negated. But, nevertheless, he played well in that role."
Predictably, the two players reacted differently.
"It's a step up from what I was getting before the last game," Greisen said. "I wasn't playing at all. All I was doing was special teams. Now I'm still getting a shot to play. Whether it's in the base or the nickel, it really doesn't matter, as long as I get playing time and get out there."
Green was asked if it was 'rewarding' to return to the defensive lineup.
"I don't know if that would be the term I would use," he said. "It is good to get back into the lineup and be back out there and able to help my teammates and make some plays and hopefully help this defense to be successful on Sunday."
For most of last week, no one outside the team knew Green would not start. The timing was particularly difficult for Green, because he had played his first four NFL seasons in Detroit, and was eager to face his former team.
Green said it was one of the toughest weeks of his career.
"It was, just first from the fact that I've never been taken off the field and it was kind of a troublesome situation," Green said. "But we've been through it now and we've overcome it and we look forward to progressing from there."
Coughlin said Green handled the situation impressively.
"He did very well with that," Coughlin said. "He recognized the circumstances and he did very well with it. He went out and contributed; he contributed on special teams."
Green regains starting LB spot
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