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Giants news, 8/20: Backup QB, interchangeable safety roles, more

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NFL: New York Giants-OTA
Cody Latimer
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, New York Giants fans! Let’s get your work week started with some Giants-related headlines.

Interchangeable safeties

The competition for the safety spot alongside Landon Collins has generally been billed as being for the “free safety” position. Curtis Riley, who looks more and more like the guy who is going to win that competition, says that isn’t necessarily the case.

“In this defense, there really is no free and strong,” Riley said on Sunday. “You have to know both because if the offense motions, we all have to change our coverage and alignments and stuff like that.”

Riley got the start Friday against the Detroit Lions, playing 22 snaps.

Cody Latimer: Eli Manning “a great pro”

When Cody Latimer began his NFL career, he was catching passes from Peyton Manning with the Denver Broncos. Now, he catches them from Eli Manning with the Giants. What are his thoughts on the Manning he plays with now?

“He’s a quiet guy. He loves his job, very hard working. He’s always out there doing extra. He’s a great pro,” Latimer said. “I watched him a lot in the off-season, followed his lead, seeing how hard he studied, seeing how much extra work he put in on and off the field. The extra sprints that he does, leaving the building last, somebody that you love to be around. If you want to become a pro, watch him.”

After four disappointing seasons in Denver, the former second-round pick came to the Giants as a free agent. Former Broncos wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert is now in that job with the Giants.

“I always say it was meant to be for me to be here,” Latimer said Subday. “I do see it as a second chance. It’s a fresh start, fresh team, it’s a new coaching staff here. Coming here with Tyke, a coach that previously knew me and knew my work ethic and knew what I had, for him to put in a word for me to try to come here is amazing. It’s a second chance that couldn’t have happened or didn’t need to happen, but it happened for a reason, and I’m making the most of it.”

Who’s No. 2?

After he started and played well Friday against Detroit, the logical conclusion is that Davis Webb has solidified his spot as the No. 2 quarterback behind Eli Manning, with rookie Kyle Lauletta No. 3 and veteran Alex Tanney fourth on the list. Coach Pat Shurmur, though, remains unwilling to publicly commit to a pecking order behind Manning.

“We have Eli, and then there’s really no depth chart there,” Shurmur said. “(Webb) did a good job the other night. He played better than he did against Cleveland, and with the reps he gets this week coming up I’m expecting him to play even better.

“Within a good performance, the numbers were good and he got a touchdown, but there were still some things in there that we need to clean up to have a winning performance in a real game.”

Injury updates

Wide receiver Travis Rudolph (quad) and cornerback Donte Deayon (hamstring) returned to practice after missing the first two games. They have 19 days and two preseason games before the roster cutdown to show the coaches what they can do.

“They’ve got to get back in there,” Shurmur said. “Again, their health is a front burner deal for us. We want to make sure they’re healthy before we put them out in an uncontrolled setting, so yeah they’ve got to catch up. That’s just the nature of being out.”

Deayon in particular looked to be in the mix for one of the reserve cornerback roles before being injured.

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The Giants return to practice Monday at 11:10 a.m. ET. Keep it here for all of your Giants coverage throughout the day.

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