New York Giants
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Cornerback Jayron Hosley, who, head coach Tom Coughlin said will get an opportunity to step into the Giants' nickel back role full time starting Sunday thanks to the season-ending injuries suffered by cornerback Trumaine McBride and Walter Thurmond III, said he's full of confidence and ready to roll.
"I'm going to prepare myself and make sure I'm focused and ready to go," he said. "I feel more free."
Hosley, who last week returned from a league-imposed suspension, said he kept himself in shape while he was away in the month of September after violating the league's policy on substance abuse.
He also said he had a chance to recover from some of the bumps and bruises he suffered during training camp, which partially contributed to his rather forgettable showing in the preseason games.
"Right now I feel like I'm at a much better place then I was at the time," Hosley said.
"I feel more confident, I feel more fluid. Having the time off, I had more time to work on myself and work on certain things so I feel much better than I did during training camp."
He is also relieved that his looming suspension, which he admitted weighed on his mind, was a factor in his poor preseason showing.
"If I said it wasn't, I'd be lying," he said. "At the same time, football is my main focus and I have to block those things out. But it's hard; you have to know what's more important on and off the field."
In moving to the slot, the 5-10, 178-pound Hosley is looking at a position that he hasn't played much of either in college or as a pro.
"I've grown in that position," he said, adding that he has been taking many reps since returning from his suspension. "I feel more comfortable with it than I did my rookie year so at this point, I feel like I'm more prepared to play that role and to be a factor."
He is also likely to be viewed by the Cowboys as the weak link in the Giants defense.
"I hope they do think I'm the weak link," Hosley said. "I'm ready to play. I'm not here to talk trash. I'm confident in myself. If they feel a certain way about me, then that's how they feel. I just have to do my job."
New receiver Kevin Ogletree, from Queens, New York, said he is looking forward to stepping into the lineup and contributing any way he is needed.
"I know there's a lot of things I can do - special teams, whatever," he said. "Whatever the task is, I'm going to put my best foot forward."
Ogletree's arrival is due to the season-ending loss of receiver Victor Cruz, whom the sixth-year veteran considers a good friend.
"You never want to be forced into a situation like that because of an injury, but those things happen," Ogletree said. "We're all going to have to do something better to pick up his play."
Ogletree, who spent four seasons (2009-2012) as a member of the Cowboys and who last year was on the same Lions team that also employed Scott Linehan, Dallas' passing game coordinator, said he's "pretty familiar" with Linehan's thinking, but that he hasn't been asked by his new team to provide any tips.
Instead, Ogletree said he has been studying his playbook nonstop so that he can quickly get up to speed.
"I anticipate to just study my behind off and to be a sponge around these guys, especially around the quarterbacks and coaches," he said. "Even within our group, just listen, and write things down. It's football; there's only so m any things you can draw up."
As is usually the case when a new player joins a team in mid-season, Ogletree will focus on learning the game plan and will try to fill in the blanks surrounding the basics of the playbook as time permits.
"With a scheme and game plan there are basics and fundamentals before that so, when you do condense it for a game play and make it specific, you can remember it better because it's less volume.
"I'm just excited to do something to help make our team better," he added.
Left guard Weston Richburg, who was flagged for a 15-yard personal foul infraction in Sunday's loss to the Eagles, will be receiving a fine from the league for his action.
Richburg was caught spearing himself head-first at an Eagles defender who was already on the ground. The penalty turned a second-and-5 into a second-and-20 for the Giants, who never recovered from the lapse in judgment by the rookie.
Richburg said he plans to appeal the penalty.
RB Rashad Jennings (knee) will not practice or play this week.
Jennings, who suffered a sprained knee two weeks ago, remains in a brace and continues to walk with a limp.
He did tell reporters on Wednesday that he has made significant improvement as far as regaining a normal range of motion and that he hoped to begin running on firm ground - he has been running on an underwater treadmill next week.
"Yeah, we got (the pain and swelling) under control," he said. "So right now I'm just working out in the gym, getting lost in my music and preparing myself so that when I get back, I can be back up to full speed."
Coach Tom Coughlin said he is hoping to get Jennings back for the team's post-bye week home game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Jennings agreed, though he remains hopeful of being ready to go before then.
"I'm targeting every week. I'm preparing in the classroom and physically and emotionally like I'm going to play this week so that when the time comes, I'm ready."
Jennings admitted that it could still take weeks before his explosion returns, even when he does return to the field. However, he is not too concerned that it will affect his performance.
"Obviously that is a factor of the game, but being a student of the game, understanding where the fits are and how to set up your blocks, that's a big part of it that doesn't get recognized," he said.
"So along with the mental part of it, when I'm physically able to produce, then I'm not going to be worried at all."
This Sunday will mark the second week in a row that receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle will start as a pair.
The last time the former LSU teammates started at receiver as a pair was in 2011.
BY THE NUMBERS: 7 - Number of receiving touchdowns by the Giants tight ends, which puts them third in the NFL, behind the Broncos (11) and Colts (8).
QUOTE TO NOTE:
"As a Giant and as a player, we need to definitely go out there and honor this guy." - Safety Antrel Rolle, during his weekly WFAN radio spot, talking about banding together to play for fallen teammate Victor Cruz, who is out for the season with a serious knee injury.