As feared, the New York Giants will be short-handed on defense Sunday night when they host the San Francisco 49ers. Linebacker Devon Kennard (hamstring) and defensive end Robert Ayers (hamstring) have been declared out for the Week 5 matchup. This will be Ayers' third consecutive game missed.
Also out Sunday for the Giants are WR Victor Cruz (calf) and defensive end George Selvie (calf). Linebacker Jonathan Casillas (calf), cornerback Trumaine McBride (groin) and cornerback Jayron Hosley (concussion) are questionable. Defensive tackle Markus Kuhn (knee), tight end Jerome Cunningham (knee) and offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (ankle) are probable.
Thus, the Giants will have to defend San Francisco without their best pass rushing defensive end and without their most dynamic linebacker. Veteran linebacker Jasper Brinkley will almost certainly be active on Sunday for the first time this season, but how the Giants deploy their linebackers remains to be seen. With Kuhn returning, perhaps we see some of Cullen Jenkins at defensive end on early downs.