New York Giants coach Ben McAdoo said Thursday that his team, depleted at cornerback and safety, used some offensive players at those spots to get through practice.
“We cross-train a lot of players here. They'll have an opportunity to contribute,” McAdoo said. “We have a bunch of guys who stepped in today, and some guys on offense, who contributed as well.”
Per a report by NJ Advance Media, that basically amounted to a handful of offensive players, a couple of whom are on the practice squad, filling in as scout team defenders mimicking the Minnesota Vikings defense.
Thus, it really isn’t that big of a deal. What, though, if the Giants actually had to turn to an offensive player to help them at corner or safety during a game? Here are a couple of thoughts on guys who might actually be able to do it.
Harris is an accomplished special teams player, both as a return man and in coverage on punts and kickoffs. His experience and willingness to tackle, and his knowledge of route running as a receiver, make him probably the most ideally-suited Giants’ offensive player to play in the secondary in an emergency.
The fact that Harris really doesn’t have a role in the offense at this point doesn’t hurt, either.
"They mentioned to me, 'We might possibly need you on defense.' But they haven't really said anything to me like it's set in stone right now," Harris said. "So I don't know what way they're going, what they're going to do about it. As far as right now, I'm just keeping an open mind with it. If they need me, they need me. If not, I'll continue what I've been doing."
Harris believes he could handle it.
"I'm pretty sure I could do it," Harris said. "I'm pretty sure it's not that hard — tackle somebody and if the ball comes to you, intercept it. Sounds easy."
Largely for the same reasons the Giants might turn to Harris. King showed the willingness to play special teams and tackle during the preseason. He also is a receiver without a role in the offense.
Judging from a comment King made in the preseason, he would be willing to try.
“I’m a guy that wants to win. I want to compete and be out there. I want to help this team anyway that I can and I feel like I’ve shown that,” he said.
Yes, I had to mention Beckham. He thinks he can do everything on the field, and he probably can. Beckham even said Thursday that he “wouldn’t mind hitting someone” if he had to play defense.
This move, though, almost certainly won’t happen. Perhaps to defend a Hail Mary pass at the end of the game, but other than that I see no way the Giants would risk playing their star wide receiver on the other side of the ball.