Safety Kenny Phillips, who has watched Stevie Brown emerge as a force for the New York Giants on defense since Phillips went down a knee injury in the fourth game of the season, declared on Thursday that he is ready to return to action.
"I'm going this week," Phillips said. "I do feel confident in my knee. It's been a long, long process. I feel like it's good enough for me to get back out there and make some plays."
Question is, will Phillips do that as a starter or will he end up as the understudy to Brown, who leads the league in takeaways with seven (five interceptions, two fumble recoveries)?
"He (Brown) did what he was supposed to do. He took advantage of an opportunity" Phillips said. "It's rare that a guy loses his position to an injury, but it's possible with the way he's playing. I'm not worried about it. Whatever role they give me, I'll take it. If I have to backup my backup, I'll do it."
Head coach Tom Coughlin said earlier in the week that the Giants would find ways to use all three safeties -- Brown, Phillips and Antrel Rolle. Rolle practiced Thursday after being cleared following concussion tests.
"Stevie Brown had an outstanding run here," Coughlin said. "What we have to do of course is... My position has always been the more outstanding football players, the better. So we'll find ways to involve all of them."
Here is the Giants' official injury report for Thursday:
Did Not Participate in Practice
LB Chase Blackburn (Hamstring)
TE Bear Pascoe (Ankle)
LB Jacquian Williams (Knee)
Limited Participation in Practice
C David Baas (Ankle/Elbow)
RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Foot)
S Kenny Phillips (Knee)
LB Keith Rivers (Calf)
S Antrel Rolle (Concussion)