Landon Collins and Andrew Adams had never lined up together at safety until this week. With the New York Giants depleted secondary, though, Collins and Adams may well be the starting duo Monday night when the Giants face the Minnesota Vikings.
The Giants have already placed Mykkele Thompson on IR with a knee injury. Darian Thompson will miss a second straight game with a foot injury. Nat Berhe (concussion) seems unlikely to be cleared in time to play Monday.
That leaves Collins and Adams as the only true safeties on the roster. Collins, of course, is a 2015 second-round pick and has started every game in his two seasons. Adams, an undrafted free agent rookie from UConn, was just signed off the practice squad before last Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins.
“I couldn’t even tell you,” Collins said on Thursday when asked what kind of player Adams is.
“He is agile, he is quick, he is fast. He knows what he is doing and he is assertive. I can tell you that much,” Collins said.
Adams played only on special teams against Washington. He had a critical penalty that wiped out a blocked punt by Romeo Okwara, but said that play is “wiped out of my mind.”
“This is what I have been preparing for my whole life,” he said. “Now the opportunity is presenting itself, so it is time to play football. … It definitely happens fast. In this league you have to stay ready. People go down and it is unfortunate, but it is the next man up mentality.”
With the Giants running out of healthy players at cornerback and safety, coach Ben McAdoo admitted Thursday that some offensive players have spent some time this week learning those positions.
“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.”
Vikings’ Zimmer: Not the same Giants
When Minnesota hosted the Giants a year ago, they won easily, 49-17. Vikings’ coach Mike Zimmer said Thursday this Giants team is better than that one.
One difference is at wide receiver. Odell Beckham was suspended for that game, and the Giants now also have Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard.
“It is night and day. With these three receivers, they are so much more dynamic,” Zimmer said Thursday. “I think that Shepard has been outstanding in the slot. Cruz has made some awfully big plays and obviously Beckham is an extremely dynamic player, so it is almost like night and day, plus it was minus-three degrees or something – whatever it was that day. I think offensively they just look way better.”
Zimmer noted the Giants’ defensive improvements, as well.
“They are obviously way more talented defensively than they were a year ago,” he said. “They have brought in eight new guys and I don’t know where they are at with their corners right now, but the guys that they have are pretty good and they do a good job of disguising the coverages, mixing things up, moving guys around. If you can’t block the front, then you are going to have a long day against these guys.”