Will Hill is set to come back from his suspension this week, joining the New York Giants just in time for them to take on the Cincinnati Bengals. Hill’s return from his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy comes at just the right time.
Kenny Phillips is still out with a knee injury and Tyler Sash has been filling in as the third safety, while Stevie Brown has filled in for Phillips. Hill is an upgrade over Sash on defense and has been very effective on special teams, where he has played as the gunner.
Hill was suspended for using Adderall, the same substance that caused Sash to miss the first four games of the year. Andre Brown was also suspended for using the substance, but he won his appeal and the suspension was dropped.
Hill, an undrafted free agent from the University of Florida who spent last year in the Arena Football League, has been a huge find for the Giants this season. Despite decent depth at safety, Hill has forced his way into playing time and has responded.
Hill’s value on special teams has been monumental and the Giants have sorely missed his presence. The Pittsburgh Steelers came very close to running back kicks for touchdowns a couple of times, and always seemed to have decent field position when they were able to return the ball. That must change if the Giants hope to contain Andy Dalton and A.J. Green this weekend.
Hill will also be an upgrade over Sash, who has looked lost at times this season in coverage. Having Hill as the third safety in the hybrid packages that Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell like to employ should help the Giants pass defense, especially over the middle of the field.
Hill’s return, with some fresh legs, might be just what the doctor ordered for a defense that has struggled in recent weeks.